Now that the Bill Cosby trial has come to a temporary end due to a mistrial of jurors (10-2), many are left with questions of whether or not justice was served. Is he really guilty of these heinous crimes? Did these women lie? Is he not the lovable dad that we once admired and really just a sexual deviant? One can only speculate.
While scores of women accused the now 79-year-old “I Spy” actor of sexual assault, there was one woman whose accusations could take the beloved “Heathcliff Huxtable” down and send him to prison for up to 10 years. That woman is Andrea Constand.
According to an affidavit and her sworn testimony, Constand was employed as the Director of Operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball division which is how she met Bill Cosby and they seemed to have built a respectful and friendly relationship. He was also a mentor who shared career advice and often invited her to social events, introduced her to many people, and invited her to dinner at his home and public restaurants.
She made mention that she was not interested in a romantic relationship because she is a lesbian, but she made claim that she was assaulted more than once by Bill Cosby which made her speak out against his actions.
The first incident, Constand said that she went to his Cheltenham, PA home to have dinner which was catered by a personal chef. They drank wine by the fire place and talked. While sitting on the sofa, without warning, Cosby reached over and began to touch her on her pants, waist and thighs. She excused herself to the bathroom, and began to collect her things so that she can leave. He gave her a bottle of perfume and thanked her for the little gifts that she had given to him.
In the second incident, she visited Cosby on a social visit. They talk and had a few glasses of wine, but “out of the blue” he began to unbutton her pants. She stopped him and they never spoke of the incident again.
Despite these incidents, Andrea continued to see Bill at his homes in Cheltenham and New York City to meet Cosby’s influential and academic connections and nothing occurred during these visits. The final blow happened when Andrea went to Cosby’s home again in Cheltenham in January or February of 2004. Cosby called Constand and asked her to come to his home so that they could discuss future career plans. He let her know that they would be alone and that she should wear comfortable clothing.
She was greeted by Cosby and they sat at a table near the front door and talked about her future career. She mentioned that she was “drained” and “emotionally occupied”. Cosby then went to the upstairs bathroom and retrieved blue pills that he said were “herbal” and would make her feel a lot better. He gave her water to help swallow the three pills and he also insisted that she take a few sips of wine in which she complied. They continued to talk and after 30 minutes, she began to feel woozy. She was unable to speak and experienced blurred vision. Cosby told her to lay on the couch.
Although she was in and out of consciousness, she was aware of Cosby fondling her breasts, putting his hand down her pants and entering her vagina with his fingers. He also took her right hand and placed it around his erect penis.
She made it clear to investigators that she did not consent to such acts as she felt paralyzed and frozen. When she gained her consciousness, she found her clothing disheveled. She gathered her things to leave and Cosby gave her a blueberry muffin and walked her to the door.
Bill Cosby’s account of these incidents are that they were in fact consensual. In an affidavit, he claimed that he gave her over-the-counter Benadryl, but he never disclosed this information to Constand. He also stated that he and Andrea engaged in kissing and petting and yes, he did place his fingers in her vagina but she never asked him to stop, push him away or tell him that she felt paralyzed. He continues to defends his acts and that of Constand’s as consensual.
The only people that truly know what happened on that day were Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby, but there are definitely valuable lessons that women can learn from this trial that will keep them safe from potential sexual assaults and/or violations.
We spoke with Chevonna Gaylor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), who shared a few tips on how women can avoid being victims of rape and sexual assault.
Money, looks, and popularity does not equate to chivalry and respect (for self or others). Look past the flash and appeal to consider the true character of the company you keep.
Be alert and aware
Being mindful of your surroundings is valuable in any situation, especially with unfamiliar people and settings.
Before: Someone should always know your whereabouts. Have a friend or family member know where you are going and who you will be with.
During: Speak up when you feel uncomfortable about something.
After: If you are questioning an intimate experience, consult with a professional, and if you don’t get the support or information you need, tell someone else.
We do not condone blaming a victim for sexual trauma against them. We want every woman that reads this article to grow in wisdom from this experience and know that they have the opportunity to become wiser and stronger from any situation.
What did you learn from the Cosby Trial? Share your knowledge with us!