Bill Cosby trial: Lawyer challenges accuser's memory


Prosecutors in the Bill Cosby indecent assault trial on Monday claimed the 79-year-old actor knew exactly what he was doing when he drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004, while the defense went after Constand's and another Cosby accuser's credibility. There are no criminal cases pending based on the other allegations, some dating to the 1960s or 1970s, often because too much time had passed.

Bill Cosby (C) leaves the Montgomery County Courthouse on June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, after the first day on trial for sexual assault.

That same year, Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby's wife on the series, publicly defended him in an interview with ABC news, even as more women were coming forward with allegations of assault.

The criminal trial, which began today, is expected to last for two weeks.

But Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his on-screen daughter in The Cosby Show, did accompany him.

Knight Pulliam says she's sensitive to the gravity of the charges, given her Kamp Kizzy Foundation's mission to promote self-esteem, empowerment and motivation in girls.

Constand was an employee of the Temple University basketball program at the time Cosby allegedly sexually abused her. They said that Cosby and Andrea Constand had a romantic relationship that spans at least several evenings, that she had gone to the casino in CT with him on one trip, had been with him on several nights for various social occasions, and, again, that it was a romantic, consensual situation.

"My dress was pulled up from the bottom, and it was pulled down from the top, and my breasts were out, and I felt naked", she said, crying.

The former child star told reporters outside the Montgomery County Courthouse that she wants to find the truth. Defense lawyers said the pair should be kept off the stand because Cosby is not charged with assaulting Johnson; he is only on trial for the encounter with Constand, who is expected to take the stand in the next few days.

Constand, who did not report the alleged assault for almost a year, said she had not maintained contact with Cosby after the incident.

McMonagle also has attacked inconsistencies in her story, pointing out that she initially told police she never spoke with Cosby after the alleged assault.

The woman is Kelly Johnson, a former employer of the Los Angeles talent management company the William Morris Agency.

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The Constand case is the only one that has made it to trial.

Cosby's attorney, Martin Singer, has repeatedly denied the accusations against his client, at one point in 2014 decrying what he called "unsubstantiated, fantastical stories", which were becoming "increasingly ridiculous". She was an assistant to his agent, Feden said.

Following the alleged assault, Johnson said she overheard a conversation between Cosby and her boss in which Cosby "complained about her work" and "encouraged" her to be fired from the company. They said Cosby testified in the lawsuit only after being promised he could never be charged. The prosecution petitioned to have several accusers testify on Constand's behalf, but the judge presiding over the case would only allow one to take the stand. There, McMonagle said, she brought him incense and bath salts, they had dinner, cognac and brandy by the fire and she lay in bed with him.

Johnson said that she did not tell anyone at the time what had happened because "I was frightened".

She said she feared speaking out at the time because Cosby was "the biggest celebrity in the world". She said she lost consciousness soon after Cosby pressured her to take a large white pill.

Perhaps this is why Judge Steven O'Neill goes out of his way to make clear to the jury that Cosby is innocent until proven guilty. "But this case is not going to be decided on optics, it's going to be decided on the evidence, and finally, it's Mr. Cosby who's going to have to face that evidence and confront the accusers who are against him".

"I could see a bottle of lotion on the nightstand".

The actor claims he had a romantic relationship with Ms Constand.

"Trust, betrayal and an inability to consent", Kristen Feden, a Montgomery County assistant district attorney, said in her opening statement, according to the Guardian.

A he said, she said case?

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle hopes to call a memory expert to challenge accusations he calls "nothing more than vague recollections".