Comedian Bill Cosby reportedly paid Andrea Constand $3.38 million to settle out the sexual assault lawsuit that she had filed against him in 2005. Constand is a former employee of the Temple University who had accused Cosby of befriending her and then drugging and molesting her while she visited him at his house. The case was filed against Cosby in 2005, though the incident had occurred in 2004.
"This case is about trust, this case is about betrayal, and that betrayal leading to a sexual assault of a woman named Andrea Constand," said Kevin R Steele, a Montgomery County district attorney, to the jurors.
Though the amount paid to Constand was never revealed in public, Cosby decided to put it out during pretrial discussions.
Cosby’s lawyers will argue that the payment is not an admission of guilt, but it proves that Constsand has a financial incentive in pressing the charges against him. A Temple University adviser who is considered to be a key witness for the defence, is expected to testify that Constand apparently told her that she could make money by putting up false claims of being molested by a prominent person.
“We’re very confident that you all will be able to do justice in this case,” Steele told the jury. “We are very confident that you will convict the defendant…for what he did to Andrea Constand on that night in January 2004.
According to reports, Cosby was delayed in his entry to the court as a topless woman, identified as Nicolle Rochelle, protested outside the court. A former actress, Rochelle had appeared on The Cosby Show numerous times. Rochelle had jumped over a barrier and screamed “Women's lives matter" before she was stopped by courthouse deputies.
Cosby is charged with three counts of indecent assault. If he is convicted, the comedian could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.