Entertainment

Cosby Feared Extortion by Accuser, Mom

Without taking the stand, Bill Cosby may have raised reasonable doubt in his sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania Thursday.

The jury learned from a police interview that Cosby believed he had been in a “romantic relationship” with his accuser, Andrea Constand. In a transcript read in court, the comedian said, “I never intended to have sexual intercourse with Andrea.”

He said he was content with the “petting” and touching the two had taken part in, and on one occasion when he was kissing her breasts, she said stop and he immediately complied.

“My impression is she didn’t want to go that far,” he said. “It wasn’t an angry stop. It wasn’t hostile. She didn’t push me away, she said stop and I stopped.

The details were provided in court during the testimony of prosecution witness Richard Schaffer, a Cheltenham Township (Pa.) County police sergeant who had been in the courtroom throughout earlier testimony by Constand and others.

During an interview 12 years ago in New York at Cosby’s lawyers’ office, the comedian told Schaffer and two other investigators that he and Constand never experienced penetration.

He said he was attracted to Constand the first time he met her and the two discussed her personal life, including a makeover and how her “butt” looked.

He purchased a $250 hair dryer and encouraged her to change her hairstyle, Cosby said.

Earlier testimony by Gianna Constand, the accuser’s mother, suggested that Cosby tried to buy the family’s silence by offering to pay for graduate school.

While the elder Constand testified that Cosby admitted to being a “sick man” and trying to find a way around the matter, Cosby said he feared extortion by the family.

Because of that, Cosby contacted his lawyers to try and reach a deal in which he’d pay for her to go to graduate school and pursue a career in sports broadcasting or another field of her choice, so long as she maintained a 3.0 grade point average, he said.

“The reason I called [his former attorney Marty] Singer is that I didn’t trust the mother,” Cosby told the police in 2005.

During the 2005 interview with Schaeffer, who at times replied sarcastically to Cosby as “being a gentleman,” Cosby admitted he gave Constand “one and a half” Benadryl pills at his home in January 2004.

Cosby told police that he never told Constand or her family what the pills really were, despite the fact they requested the name of the medication later on.

Constand claims that after taking the pills, she passed out and awoke to Cosby sexually assaulting her.

Shaffer told prosecutors that Cosby had a bag brought to the Manhattan law office and that it contained a number of pill bottles. A photo of those bottles was shown on a screen in court Thursday.

Cosby said Constand often wasn’t thinking clearly and he believed she had a learning disability or attention deficit disorder. He also questioned whether she had taken drugs like LSD.

During his interview with Constand, Schaffer acknowledged that she was “anxious,” a word Cosby had previously used to describe her before given her the pills.

“She needed to relax,” Cosby told investigators. “Her eyes were … all over and she was anxious.”

Thursday wrapped as prosecutors summoned Montgomery County Det. James Reape to the stand, where he began pouring over Cosby’s controversial statements made during a deposition in the civil case settled in 2006 between the comedian and Constand.

The deposition is said to contain admissions by Cosby of providing women with Quaaludes before having sex with them.

Cosby, 79, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault and could face as many as 30 years in prison if convicted. On Thursday, he arrived to court with comedian Joe Torry and actor Lewis Dix.

The two joined the list of celebrities who have accompanied Cosby to court this week, including his TV daughter Keshia Knight Pulliam, actress Sheila Frazier and her hairstylist husband, John Atchison.

So far, no family members have appeared.

“I don’t care what anyone else has to say, you have to be here to know what’s going on,” said Torry, the former “Def Comedy Jam” host whose acting credits include “Poetic Justice” and “Tales from the Hood.”

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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