COSBY ON TRIAL
Jury hears Bill Cosby's apology for 2004 sexual encounter.
Maryclaire Dale and Michael R. Sisak, Associated Press | 6/9/2017, 12:39 p.m.
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby says he apologized to the family of the woman he is accused of drugging and assaulting because he thought her mother saw him as "a dirty old man," according to testimony read to the jury Friday at the comedian's trial.
Cosby's explanation was contained in a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of a lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, the woman whose allegations resulted in the only criminal charges brought against the TV star.
Portions of the deposition became public nearly two years ago and played a major role in prosecutors' decision to charge him. For the jury at his sexual assault trial, this could be the closest it comes to hearing from Cosby himself, since he said before the case began that he did not intend to take the stand.
In the deposition, he recounted a telephone conversation he had with Constand's mother.
"I apologized to this woman. But my apology was, my God, I'm in trouble with these people because this is an old man and their young daughter and the mother sees this," he said.
Constand, 44, testified this week that Cosby penetrated her with his fingers against her will in 2004 after giving her pills that left her paralyzed, unable to tell him to stop. Cosby has said the encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home was consensual. The 79-year-old TV star could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
With the state's case against America's Dad appearing to be nearing an end, prosecutors put on the stand a psychologist who testified that victims of celebrities are often afraid to come forward because of the danger of a backlash. Constand did not go to police until a year after the alleged assault.
"If it's a well-known person, the victim takes on a lot of responsibility for that person's reputation, especially if that person is well-liked or beloved," Veronique Valliere testified.
Cosby's lawyers asked for a mistrial, complaining that Valliere was offering observations about Cosby even though she was only allowed to testify generally about victim behavior. The judge rejected the request.
Cosby himself worried about the repercussions from public disclosure. In portions of the deposition read Friday, he told lawyers that he knew his finances could suffer if the public were told he had drugged and assaulted someone.
"Do you think there would be a financial consequence to you if the public believed that you gave Andrea a drug that took away her ability to consent and then had sexual contact with her?" Cosby was asked.
"Yes," he said.
According to the deposition, Constand's mother repeatedly asked Cosby over the phone about the pills he had given her daughter, but Cosby refused to tell her what they were and said he would send them in the mail, which he never did.
"I didn't want to talk about what did you give her. We're over the telephone and I'm not sending anything over the mail and I'm not giving away anything," Cosby testified.