The Woman Who Brought Down Bill Cosby
Actor Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to ten years in Pennsylvania state prison Tuesday after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.
But who is the woman who said she was drugged and molested by Cosby?
Her name is Andrea Constand, and her testimony made Cosby the first celebrity to be convicted on sexual assault charges in the #MeToo era. Once known as “America’s Dad,” Cosby was found guilty in April on three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby, 81, faced up to 10 years in prison after the three charges were merged into one. A judge declared Cosby a “sexually violent predator” on Tuesday, meaning he has to register as a sex offender.
Constand and Cosby met in 2002, when the then-29-year-old woman was the director of operations for the woman’s basketball team at Temple University, according to PEOPLE Magazine, which reported from a 2005 civil lawsuit that Constand had filed.
Constand testified in court that she looked up to Cosby as a mentor, even if he tried to make sexual advances towards her, CNN reported. She said a friend at Temple University’s Liacouras Center connected her to Cosby, who in turn helped her network with other professionals.
“My thoughts were that he was a well-respected Temple advocate and trustee,” she said in court. “He was also a community leader ... and that made him a very well-respected person at Temple, and I was grateful for (him) helping me in any way that he did.”
But one night in 2004, Constand said Cosby invited her to his home and offered to provide her advice about her career, according to PEOPLE. In an interview with TODAY, she recalled the moment when she says Cosby drugged her with blue pills and then proceeded to sexually assault her.
“Three blue pills. And he put his hand out and I said, ‘What are those?’ And he said, ‘They’ll help you relax,’” she recalled in her interview with TODAY. “And I said, ‘Are they natural? Are they, like, a herbal remedy?’ And he said, ‘No, they’re your friends. Just put them down.’”
Constand said she took the pills, and Cosby took her to a couch and began to molest her as she struggled to stay conscious. The alleged assault happened in Cosby’s mansion in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.