NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bill Cosby’s lawyer launched a fierce attack on the comedian’s accuser, calling her a con artist who took advantage of Cosby’s grief and loneliness over his son’s murder to gain his trust before framing him for sexual assault.
Lawyer Tom Mesereau delivered a blistering opening statement Tuesday in Cosby’s retrial. He told jurors that accuser Andrea Constand wasn’t attracted to Cosby, but was “madly in love” with his fame and money.
He said she “hit the jackpot” when he paid her $3.4 million to settle a civil lawsuit over allegations he drugged and molested her in 2004.
Prosecutors said it was Cosby who betrayed Constand’s trust by giving her pills and then assaulting her.
Security was stepped up outside of the courthouse in suburban Philadelphia Tuesday after a topless protester jumped over a barricade Monday and ran toward Cosby.
He was escorted into the courthouse by an attorney and his spokesman and surrounded by five sheriff’s deputies. Another row of barricades was also added to the walkway.
Monday’s protester, 38-year-old Nicolle Rochelle of Little Falls, New Jersey, did not reach Cosby and he was unharmed.
She was a member of a European feminist group known for staging topless protests and appeared as a child on “The Cosby Show.” Rochelle was charged with disorderly conduct and released.
“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women and to show him that the body can be aggressive and empowered,” she said.
Cosby’s first trial last spring ended with the jury hopelessly deadlocked. His retrial is expected to last a month. He faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)