Bill Cosby paid accuser almost $3.4m

District Attorney Kevin Steele highlighted the 2006 civil settlement during his opening statement, in an apparent attempt to suggest Cosby wouldn't have paid out so much money if the accusations against him were false.

Against the accuser's claims that she was drugged and raped, 80-year-old Cosby has insisted he had a consensual sexual relationship with Constand, who turns 45 on Wednesday.

She only had one other encounter with Cosby, she told the jury.

But attorney Lisa Bloom who represents another one of Cosby's accusers says Mesereau's remarks are why so many sexual abuse victims do not report the crime.

"The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable, because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women", she said.

He was in his mid-60s. She recalled the surreal feeling of thinking she'd get one-on-one acting lessons with him.

But instead of a hotel, Thomas said she was driven to a private ranch out of town.

Cosby, according to Mesereau, fell for Constand's bogus affection. The attorney, who is best known for winning an acquittal on child molestation charges against pop star Michael Jackson, described Constand as a failure, a cheat and a mooch.

Jackson, who also goes by Margo, is a Temple University employee whose testimony could undermine Constand's allegations against Cosby.

His attack on Constand was a striking departure from the more subdued tone that Cosby's previous lawyer took at the first trial, which ended in a hung jury last spring.

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

By contrast, Mesereau's opener was largely straightforward, focused on painting Constand as an untrustworthy, conniving woman who couldn't hack it at her Temple University job and was looking for "a big score" when she and Cosby met. Constand, Mesereau said, was someone who had a "history of financial problems, until she hits the financial jackpot with Bill Cosby". Cosby's lawyers wanted the juror removed from the case.

But one thing Cosby can not say is that he's suffered a lack of due process. "He's not a criminal and you will gladly declare him not guilty", Mesereau said.

The prosecution's opening statement was delayed until Monday afternoon due to a defense motion to dismiss a juror.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt - pleased with the defense's opening statements, which labeled Constand as a con artist who's story is inconsistent.

The first witness in the case was Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist who testified about how sexual assault victims behave.

Rochelle, a resident of Little Falls, New Jersey, was obstructed by policemen and charged with disorderly conduct.

Jackson is a potential key to the defense plan to paint Constand as a calculating liar.

"There's nothing, there's just a blank, until there's a picture, and then another blank, and then a picture", she said.

"How could I?" she said.

Rochelle told People that the protest had nothing to do with her time working on "The Cosby Show".

The prosecution plans to call up to five other women who have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them. Only one additional accuser took the stand at the first trial. To hammer home that point, Mesereau - a flamboyant courtroom figure with startling white, almost shoulder-length white hair who is based in Los Angeles - offered a beginner's course on Hollywood to his suburban, East Coast audience in the jury box. The settlement says Cosby entered into the agreement so long as the facts, allegations and information gathered during the course of the litigation did not become public. Because there's something that you want.

"He said "your friend is going to come again" and I remember thinking 'how did I get here?"

"This is about one thing only", Troiani said.

"Andrea Constand did not consent to penetration", he said. Mesereau said. "You already know the answer: money, money and lots more money". "She's now a multi-millionaire because she pulled it off".

  • Carolyn Briggs