Cosby's accuser: 'I just wanted to confront him'

Untitled-1299
Attached Thursday to new court filings, an account from Andrea Constand offers the most complete and unfiltered version to date of the incident that led Montgomery County authorities to charge Bill Cosby, the 78-year-old entertainer, last year with sexually assaulting Constand in 2004.

Andrea Constand waited a year to tell anyone that Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted her, she said, because she was "emotionally shocked" and needed time to work through her feelings.

"I want to say there was an element of fear," she told Cheltenham police in 2005. "Before I was going to say anything to anyone, I had to put my own thoughts and feelings together."

Detailed in a police interview transcript made public Thursday, Constand's reply addressed what has emerged as a critical point as Cosby's case lumbers toward a trial. His lawyers and a former district attorney have questioned her delay in reporting the alleged assault, though a court has prevented her from publicly speaking about it.

The 11-year-old records released also offered for the first time Constand's detailed account of her interactions with Cosby and what she said unfolded before, during, and after the night she says he drugged and attacked her.

The document became publicly accessible nine days after prosecutors cited excerpts of it as evidence at the 78-year-old entertainer's preliminary hearing, using it to convince a judge he should be held for trial.

With it, they also filed a full transcript of Cosby's 2005 interview with police. In it, he insisted his sexual contact with Constand had been consensual and said he had been taken aback by her accusations.

"The only thing I could see was that maybe [Constand and her mother] were upset because I wasn't calling anymore or seeing them anymore," he told investigators.

Beyond describing dueling accounts of the alleged assault itself, the interview transcripts - each running several pages - added new levels of context and details about their relationship, the only one, despite similar misconduct claims by dozens of women nationwide, that has led to criminal charges.

Constand was operations manager for the Temple University women's basketball program - organizing team travel, camps, and meals - when Cosby toured the renovated locker room one day.

In the weeks that followed, Cosby began to call Constand at the office to talk about the team. In time, his attention turned to Constand herself, offering career advice, dinners, and gifts - cashmere sweaters, a hair dryer, and concert tickets.

She was in her 30s, gay, and had been in relationships with women since she was a teenager. He was "much older than my father," she later told police. But he also was Temple's perhaps most famous alumnus and a powerful trustee, someone who could hold sway over her job.

Their interactions did not even end after the night in early 2004 she said he gave her pills and wine and molested her.

Constand, in fact, later told police she had resolved to challenge Cosby on what occurred. "I just wanted to confront him about it and ask some questions," she said.

Her chance came when, weeks after the alleged assault, she said, Cosby called and invited her to join him in Chinatown for a dinner with honor students from Philadelphia's Central High School.

But when she returned after the dinner to Cosby's home, she said, she backed off her plan to press him about the blue pills he had given her and what he did to her after she took them and fell into semiconsciousness - him touching her private parts, and placing her hand on his.

Instead, "I just said, 'I don't know what you did to me,' " she told police.

"He sat close to me. Too close to me and I was disturbed by that, considering what had happened in that specific place. At that point I didn't think I was going to accomplish what I wanted to do."

So she moved away from him, she said.

In her first interview with investigators, Constand said Cosby's response to her was simply: "I don't know what's going on."

In a second interview with police, she went further. "He [sic] reply to me was, 'I thought you had an orgasm,' " she said, according to the transcript. "I was totally stunned by that reply and said 'I don't understand, I don't want to talk about this.' . . . I got up and left."

Constand moved back to Toronto, where she grew up.

In the following months, Cosby provided her tickets for his show in Toronto. She attended with her family. Cosby asked her to come a day early to see him, she told police, but she declined.

She also told police she called Cosby in December 2004, about a month before sharing her accusations with her mother or police.

"I called and hung up," she said. "I wanted him to answer so that I could confront him about what had happened."

Cosby's lawyers have pointed to her continued contact with him as a reason to question her claims.

Constand told police that about a year after the alleged assault, she had "a flashback" and decided to finally speak up. She told her mother, who told her she was suffering from post-traumatic stress.

As Constand sought help from a psychotherapist, her mother decided to call Cosby.

According to his account to police, he apologized to the mother and assured her he had not had sex with her daughter.

"I don't know what's going on," Cosby told police, according to the transcript. "Her mother said to me . . . Andrea does not want the publicity. Andrea is a good girl. . . .. The mother blamed me for Andrea being depressed."

The two women taped some of the phone conversations with Cosby.

Cosby said he offered to pay to send Constand to graduate school. He tried to set up a meeting in Florida, and he called his lawyer.

"I don't trust the mother. I don't trust a woman who says that she does not know how long it will take her to heal," he told police. "I called the attorney because I wanted them to send a letter to them to see about some kind of graduate school."

Constand told police she then heard from more than one representative for Cosby.

"A person named Pete from the William Morris agency called," she said. "He indicated that Mr. Cosby wanted me and my mom to fly to Florida and stay at the Biltmore Hotel. These conversations were recorded. We did not go to Florida."

Cosby has insisted since his first police interview that any sexual encounter with Constand was consensual.

He told investigators in 2005 that they had romantic relations "at least three other times in my house" before the night of the alleged assault, including one when he stopped after Constand asked him to do so.

"We had some petting and touching of private parts," he said. "I put my lips to her breast and she said stop. I put the brassiere down and stopped and we walked to the exit."

Constand denied that encounter when she spoke to police in 2005. She did describe two other instances when Cosby made advances on her. She told police she stopped them before they progressed.

Those same police interviews were the ones then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. considered when he decided not to prosecute Cosby in 2005.

The case was reopened last summer after a deposition Cosby gave in Constand's civil lawsuit against him was made public for the first time. District Attorney Kevin R. Steele charged Cosby in December with aggravated indecent assault. He remains free on $1 million bail, waiting for a trial date.

lmccrystal@phillynews.com

610-313-8116 @LMcCrystal