Cosby defense lawyer launches fierce attack on accuser

Accusers confront Bill Cosby and they aren’t holding back

In many quarters the accusations have all but undone the entertainer's image as America's Dad.

The groundbreaking performer has fallen far since his days of worldwide fame and acclaim. He starred in movies with Sidney Poitier, and in the '70s developed the animated show, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids". The jury that time was not permitted to hear about the settlement, nor was Jackson allowed to take the stand. Over the next several decades, Cosby used that fame and influence to continue making comedy and to deliver public counsel about social responsibility and parenting.

Although some 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, all but one of the incidents were too old to be prosecuted.

In a 2005 deposition to resolve a civil suit in which he paid Constand almost $3.4 million, Cosby said he gave the Canadian an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve stress.

Ultimately, Mesereau is taking a big leap in trying to convince the jury that Cosby is really the victim in this trial and that Constand was the aggressor, especially if the cultural wind is blowing in the opposite direction. The defense attorneys are once again expected to argue that the encounter was consensual.

Cosby's first trial last spring ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked.

In Constand's case, she waited until 2005 to report that Cosby assaulted her the year before. She says Cosby assaulted her after she took a sip of white wine he had given her. Later, Jackson asked Constand if she had been assaulted. Plus, Mesereau said with an air of nonchalance, Cosby was merely trying to rid himself of a "nuisance". "I have three friends for you that will make you relax". "They'll take the edge off", she recalled Cosby saying.

Under no such constraints this time, the defense let loose on Constand. Cosby turned his face away as she spoke, staring in the direction of the gallery at a 90-degree angle to the witness box.

Nicolle Rochelle, an actress and activist from Little Falls, New Jersey, told People that she wanted Cosby to feel "uncomfortable" on his first day in court.

"This was a paltry sum to him to avoid all this", Mesereau said.

"Knowing that she might be called as a witness in the Cosby trial has been scary and stressful for Janice".

Mesereau said Jackson was told by Constand she had been sexually assaulted by a "powerful person".

"I do think he will do some tough questioning". The case was reopened in 2015. That decision became a major campaign issue. Cosby was charged shortly before the statute of limitations was set to expire.

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Anticipating the defense would try to discredit Constand's character and testimony, Steele reminded the jurors, "This is the Commonwealth vs. William H. Cosby".

The amount had been confidential - and was kept out of the first trial - but a judge ruled that both sides could discuss it at this one. He insisted his wife's career does not impact his courtroom.

In dismissing jurors who remained deadlocked previous year after six days of deliberations, O'Neill told the panel, "Do not feel like you've let the justice system down".

O'Neill was appointed in 2002 by Pennsylvania's Republican governor as a judge for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors will have a chance to call witnesses that were blocked from the first trial, including five more women who accused Cosby of sexual assault.

It made no mention of the alleged assault, Thomas said, because she had planned to give it to her mom.

Cosby's attorney at the time, Martin Singer, called the accusation "a fabricated lie". She was 30. The older man told the younger woman that he had never really recovered from the murder of his son, Ennis, in the late 1990s during a robbery, Mesereau said.

"How could I?" she said. Constand met the comedian when she ran the women's basketball operations at Temple, where Cosby was an alumnus and trustee.

Cosby also has new attorneys for this trial.

It wasn't clear how well she knew the star. The retrial is expected to last about a month.

"The ruling that will permit five additional complainants to testify against Cosby is not a good one for him", said Slotnick.

The founder of Purpose PR, based in Birmingham, Ala., Wyatt is a native of Bessemer, Ala., and attended Miles College before working in local television. Jackson was not allowed to give testimony at the first trial. "Finally Mr. Cosby has his day in court". "If it could happen to Bill Cosby, it could happen to anybody". They also often won't immediately escape in cases involving acquaintances, she said.