Cosby paid Andrea Constand $3.4M to settle suit: prosecutor
Bill Cosby paid Andrea Constand nearly $3.4 million to settle allegations he sexually assaulted her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004, a prosecutor said Monday during opening statement at the comedian’s re-trial on molestation charges.
Cosby’s camp fought to keep the size of the secret 2006 settlement out of the comedian’s first trial in Pennsylvania last year, but his new defense team reversed course and plans to use it this time around to argue Constand fabricated her claims for financial gain.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele had the first chance to reveal the eye-popping sum to jurors Monday and hopes it will convince them Cosby made the substantial payment after calculating Constand likely would have prevailed had her civil lawsuit gone to trial.
Cosby, 80, is charged with drugging and molesting Constand while she was a manager of the Temple University women’s basketball team and he was a high-profile university trustee.
Constand, 44, claims she considered Cosby a father figure and professional mentor when she visited him at his estate to discuss her career. She testified last year that she only accepted three blue pills from the comedian after he reassured her they were “herbal” remedies for stress.
She says the pills left her groggy and paralyzed, and that Cosby took advantage of her incapacitation to grope her breasts, penetrate her with his fingers and masturbate himself with her hand.
Women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault
Her claims fell within Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations when prosecutors charged him in December 2015. The criminal filing came after a judge unsealed deposition testimony in which Cosby admitted he obtained seven prescriptions for Quaaludes in the 1970s so he could give the powerful drug to women he found sexually attractive.
The TV star once known as “America’s Dad” has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault, saying the pills he gave Constand were Benadryl and that their sexual contact was consensual.
Some 58 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, but Constand’s case is the only one to reach criminal prosecution.
If convicted of any of the three charges, Cosby could face up to a decade behind bars.
An initial trial on the same charges ended with a hung jury last June.