NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania—Bill Cosby apologized to the mother of the woman who accused him of sexual assault for being a “dirty old man,” a jury heard Friday.
A deposition of Cosby was read aloud for the first time during the criminal trial that accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. The deposition was taken in Constand’s civil lawsuit that was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006. Cosby was asked then why he was reluctant to provide the name of the drug he gave Constand on the night of the alleged assault.
“The mother is coming at me for being a dirty old man,” Cosby replied.
The deposition included Cosby recalling his 2006 apology to Constand’s mother over the phone.
“I apologized to this woman,” he said. “But my apology was, my God, I’m in trouble with these people because this is an old man and their young daughter.”
The deposition was read by Montgomery County police officer, James Reape who investigated Constand’s allegations against Cosby after the case was re-examined by prosecutors in 2015. Prosecutors called Reape to the stand on Thursday following testimony from another local police officer who investigated the case in 2005. Charges were not filed in that case.
For the first time jurors heard Cosby’s account of meeting Constand, and the events that led up to the night in January 2004 when Constand says she was drugged by Cosby and sexually assaulted on a couch in the actor’s suburban Philadelphia home.
In the deposition, which was unsealed by a federal judge in 2015, Cosby said he became romantically interested in Constand “the first time he saw her,” and described his attempts to get close to her by inviting her to his house and gauging her interest in a romantic affair.
Cosby described an incident prior to the night of the alleged assault when he said they had consensual sexual contact. Cosby described testing Constand’s level of consent in his kitchen.
“The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin,” Cosby said under oath in 2005. “I got her skin and it’s just above the hand and it’s just above where you can go under the pants... I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection... I am not stopped.”
Asked in the deposition what that area is, Cosby implied that it is the area below a woman’s abdomen where the public hair line begins.
On the night of the alleged assault, Cosby described what happened after he gave Constand three pills, which he later said were Benadryl, to help her “relax.”
“We were sitting on the sofa and we began to neck and kiss and touch and feel... I lifted her bra up so our skin could touch. We kiss, we touch... We are what could be called in a spooning position.”
Cosby claimed in the deposition that after he placed his hand on Constand’s genitals, “she took her hand and put it on top of my hand to push it in further. She makes a sounds that I think was an orgasm. She was wet.”
The prosecution rested its case on Friday afternoon, following five days of testimony that included graphic accounts from two women who say they were raped by Cosby after being given drugs that made them incapacitated.
Cosby to testify?
A spokesman for the Cosby family says the actor’s defense team has not ruled out putting him on the stand next week when his trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault continues in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
“Nothing is ever off the table in a trial of this magnitude,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt said during a break in testimony Friday.
According to a report from Deadline Hollywood, defense attorneys have already conducted closed-door talks about the possibility of calling him as a witness, but have postponed making a decision until next week. A member of Cosby’s defense team would not confirm or deny the reports when asked about them by The Daily Beast.
Cosby had previously said he had no plans to testify. “I just don’t want to sit there and have to figure out what I believe is a truthful answer as to whether or not I’m opening a can of something that [will leave] my lawyers scrambling,” he told Sirius XM radio host Michael Smerconish in May.
Experts get the last word
District Attorney Kevin Steele closed his case by calling a forensic toxicologist as an expert witness to testify on the pharmacological effects of central nervous system depressants such as Benadryl, which Cosby has admitted to giving Andrea Constand prior to what he says was a consensual sexual encounter in January 2004.
Dr. Timothy Rohrig said the effects Constand described experiencing after taking the pills Cosby gave her, including dry mouth, drowsiness, and blurred vision, could be consistent with the ingestion of diphenhydramine, the generic name for Benadryl.
He cited three sexual assault cases he is aware of in which dqiphenhydramine played a role—including a case in the United Kingdom in which a cab driver mixed the drug with champagne that he gave to multiple victims.
Rohrig was also asked to explain the effects of Quaaludes, which Cosby admitted to giving women he wanted to have sex with in deposition testimony from 2005 that read into the record Friday. Cosby says he has not possessed Quaaludes since the 1970s (they have been illegal in the U.S. since 1984), and he denies ever giving them to anyone without their knowledge.
Jurors also heard Friday from prosecution witness Dr. Veronique Valliere, an expert on sexual assault, who offered her professional input on the inconsistencies in some of Constand’s statements about the her relationship with Cosby.
“We don’t live our life events as if we are going to be recounting them in court,” she said. “What we have is this normal way of human living, with a trauma layered on top of it.”
During cross examination, Cosby’s defense attorney Brian J. McMonagle produced a Facebook post in which Dr. Valliere appeared to celebrate a 2016 decision by Judge Steven O’Neill that allowed the current criminal case to proceed.
Valliere admitted to writing the post, which links to an article on the ruling and reads: “Victory. The case goes on.”
“Did you disclose to the prosecutor’s office that you have a bias against Bill Cosby,” McMonagle pressed.
“I don’t have a bias against him,” Valliere responded.
As Cosby left the courthouse, a small crowd of fans gathered outside shouting, “We love you Bill. You’re innocent!”
His spokesman told reporters outside that Cosby is “optimistic” about how the trial is going so far, and alluded to the possibility that Cosby’s wife Camille could make an appearance next week after being absent since the start of his trial.
“I’ll be weighing all those options and discussing it with the family and when it happens, you will see it when it happens,” he said.