Cosby accuser tells jury she was drugged for four days, sexually assaulted

Lawyer Tom Mesereau told jurors in his opening statement at the former TV star's sex-assault trial that Andrea Constand wasn't attracted to Cosby but was "madly in love" with his fame and money and made up the accusations to score a big payday.

Inside the courtroom, Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney Kevin Steele told jurors that Cosby paid almost $3.4 million to the woman he is charged with sexually assaulting, answering one of the biggest questions surrounding the case.

Bill Cosby's defense attorney launched a relentless character assassination in a Pennsylvania courtroom on Tuesday, against the woman accusing the comic of drugging and molesting her, calling her a con artist and a liar who was interested in only one thing: "money, money and lots more money". Later, Ms Jackson asked Ms Constand directly whether she had been assaulted. "Money, money, and lots more money".

Psychiatrist Barbara Ziv was the first witness to testify at Cosby's retrial Tuesday.

Prosecutors say it was the "Cosby Show" star who betrayed Constand's trust by giving her pills and then assaulting her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion.

The TV star once known as "America's Dad" has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to a decade in prison.

Cosby tried to call Jackson at his first trial but the judge blocked her as a hearsay witness after Constand said she didn't know Jackson.

Cosby said he gave the Canadian an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve stress.

"I felt personally attacked even though I wasn't actually attacked", she told Inside Edition. She said she recalled "only snapshots" of the next four days. 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.

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She's characterized the assault as happening in both January or March 2004, and said she accepted a muffin and tea from a bathrobe-clad Cosby before leaving his home after the alleged incident.

Thomas was the first, telling the court she wanted a career in musical theatre and retained an agent.

Dickinson said in a November 2014 interview that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982 after the two had dinner in Lake Tahoe.

Stuart Slotnick, a criminal defense attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia, said observers shouldn't underestimate the cultural climate during this case. Their opening statements are expected Tuesday morning. Cosby "was lonely and troubled", Mesereau said, when he met Constand in the early 2000s through her work as the director of operations for the women's basketball team at Temple University, where the entertainer sat on the board of trustees and served as the unofficial public face of the institution.

The defence lawyer went on to present a raft of other criticisms of Ms Constand in an effort to damage her credibility in the eyes of the jurors. The defence plans to call Jackson as a witness, and Mesereau said she will testify that Constand - inspired by a story they saw on the news - mused about setting up a celebrity so she could sue and get money. "A con artist. And we'll prove it".

At the centre of both trials are the allegations of Ms Constand, who became a friend of Cosby's while she was working at his alma mater, Temple University, as a manager of the women's basketball team.

Under no such constraints this time, the defence let loose on Constand. Al Franken, Matt Lauer and other powerful men in recent months.

And it was only the first sign that Cosby's second sexual assault trial was already shaping up to be far different than the first, which ended in a hung jury and mistrial. The fallen comedian cracked a grin during his trial a year ago, as his accuser walked jurors step-by-step through her memory of Cosby groping her breasts and shoving his fingers inside her.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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