Cosby Paid Accuser Constand $3M in 2006 Settlement


A topless protester, who painted her body with the names of women who have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, was arrested outside the courthouse on Monday.

Nicolle Rochelle, 38, (aka Nicole Leach) wasn't afraid to bare all when she showed up topless to protest outside of the Montgomery County courthouse in Philadelphia, PA on April. 9, where Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial was taking place.

"I guess in the end I wanted him to feel uncomfortable the way that he made other women feel", she said.

At the start of proceedings, the prosecutor said Cosby, 80, had paid the alleged victim almost $3.4million - money he would not have handed over if the claims against him were false.

The ex-model and actress says Cosby gave her a pill and she was immobilized and unable to speak as he assaulted her in 1986, when she was 17 and he was 48.

Cosby's defense lawyer, Tom Mesereau, is scheduled to deliver his opening statement Tuesday morning - and to challenge the credibility of Constand, now a massage therapist in Canada.

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His first trial a year ago ended with a hung jury.

Cosby has said the encounters were consensual.

The timeline of the case has always been a challenge for the prosecution, and some jurors stared with quizzical looks on their faces as Steele sought to make sense of a complicated chain of events. That information was not available during the first trial. Cosby's defense attorneys plan to try to undermine her testimony by arguing how "greedy" she was in a 2006 civil settlement with Cosby.

The case centers on Andrea Constand's accusation that the one-time entertainment icon drugged and molested her in 2004.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center said that could help prosecutors overcome the skepticism some jurors had last time about Constand's yearlong wait to report her allegations to the police. In 2015, she accused Cosby of drugging and raping her when he was mentoring her for a starring role on the show. For the second time in 10 months the town has become inundated with media and protesters drawn to the trial of one of America's most famous - and once beloved - comedians.

While Judge Steven T. O'Neill did not announce a ruling, all 12 jurors - along with six alternates - were in court for the opening statement. The testimony of the adviser, Marguerite Jackson, 56, was barred during the first trial when Constand testified that she did not know Jackson.

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Actress Nicolle Rochelle was charged with disorderly conduct for Monday's protest.

The comedian, who has consistently denied all allegations against him, was said to have appeared startled by the ordeal but was not touched or injured.

Steele told the jury Cosby built up trust with Constand over time, but in 2004, that trust was betrayed.

The first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era begins on Monday in suburban Philadelphia with opening statements.

Referring to the unsealed deposition, Steele on Monday told jurors, "That, ladies and gentlemen, led to our office reopening the investigation".

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