Andrea Constand Came Forward About Bill Cosby's Sex Assault After She 'Woke up Crying' a Year Later
The woman whose allegations led to Bill Cosby's conviction for sexual assault kept silent for a year because she thought no one would believe her
“I didn’t think anybody would believe me,” she tells NBC’s Dateline in a broadcast airing Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since the incident 13 years ago that led to Cosby’s conviction in April on three counts of aggravated sexual assault.
“It was Dr. Huxtable,” she said, in an interview excerpt that aired Thursday on NBC Nightly News. “I thought I was the only person that he did this to. Who’s gonna believe me?”
Constand, now 45, a former staffer for the woman’s basketball team at Temple University where Cosby, 80, was a high-profile alum, kept silent for a year. Then she finally told her mom about what happened at the Pennsylvania home of the man she once viewed as a mentor.
“I woke up and had a bad dream,” she told NBC national correspondent Kate Snow, in a separate excerpt broadcast Friday on Today. “And that dream was that Mr. Cosby would do this to somebody else if I did not say or tell someone.”
“So I woke up crying, and I said, ‘Mom, Mr. Cosby drugged me and he sexually violated me.’ And she was so caught off guard.”
Constand’s mother, Gianna Constand, recalled the conversation for Dateline.
“‘Mom,’ she said, ‘he’s a bastard.’ And I said, ‘Andrea, who are you talking about?’ She said, ‘Mom, he drugged me and he raped me.’ I said, ‘Who?’ She said, ‘Bill Cosby.'”
Gianna Constand later called Cosby in a recorded conversation about the incident that prosecutors played at his trial.
Cosby, who has been accused of similar behavior by more than 60 women, has denied all the allegations and appealed the verdict in Constand’s case, which represents the only time criminal sexual assault charges have been filed against him.
He and his attorneys declined to speak to Dateline.
Cosby faces up to 30 years in prison — 10 years for each of the three counts — when is scheduled to be sentenced this fall.
It was the scandal that rocked America’s most storied political family and changed the course of presidential history. PEOPLE‘s first-ever podcast, Cover-Up, dives into the Chappaquiddick scandal and attempts to piece together what happened in the hours after Ted Kennedy’s car went over a narrow wooden bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or wherever podcasts are available.
Repeating elements of her trial testimony, Constand told Dateline she was anxious about a career decision and accepted Cosby’s invitation to visit his home and talk about it.
There, she told Snow, Cosby offered her “three blue pills.”
“He held out his hand and I said, ‘What are those?’,” she recalled. “He said, ‘They’ll help you relax.’ And I said like, ‘Are they natural? Are they like a herbal remedy?’ He said, ‘No, they’re your friends, just put ’em down.’”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Within 30 minutes, according to her trial testimony, she began to slur her words and was unable to walk — or fend off Cosby’s subsequent assault, she said.
“My mind is saying, ‘Move your hands, kick, can you do anything, I don’t want this, why is this person doing this?,’ and me not being able to react in any specific way,” she told Snow. “I was limp. I was a limp noodle.”
“I was crying out inside in my throat, in my mind, for this to stop, and I couldn’t do anything,” she said.
Constand’s full interview with Snow on Dateline airs Friday on NBC (10 p.m. ET).