Andrea Constand's mother, Gianna, testified Wednesday at Bill Cosby's trial on sexual assault charges


Andrea Constand‘s mother confronted Bill Cosby after learning that he had allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her daughter, she testified in court on Wednesday afternoon.

Under questioning by Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney Kevin Steele, Gianna detailed how she placed a call to Cosby in January 2005 to challenge him about what he was accused of doing to her daughter and to ask what medication he gave Andrea before her alleged assault.

She testified that Cosby — who kept calling her “mom” during their two-plus hour phone conversation, she said — told her in graphic detail about the sexual encounter between him and Andrea, implying it was consensual, with Andrea listening on the phone.

“He said, ‘Oh, Andrea don’t you remember?’ Mom, she even had an orgasm,” Gianna recalled on the stand, making a face.

Cosby, 79, is on trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea, 44, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004. He has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated indecent assault, insisting their sexual contact was consensual, and has denied similar allegations from more than 60 women.

Andrea, who is gay, says their sexual contact was not consensual.

She testified at Cosby’s trial just before her mother — facing scrutiny from Cosby’s defense about what they alleged were inconsistencies in her story — and wrapped up her own testimony at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Gianna took the stand a half an hour later for an emotional two hours.

From left: Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby
| Credit: Marta Iwanek/The Canadian Press/AP; Matt Slocum/AP

‘I Apologize to Andrea’

During her first phone conversation with Cosby, Gianna testified, she kept pressing him for the name of the drug he’d given Andrea.

“I said, ‘What medication did you give to my daughter?’ ” she said. “He said, ‘I have to go upstairs and look at the bottle.’ He said he’d do that.”

A couple of minutes later, Gianna recalled, he came back and told her over the phone that he couldn’t read the prescription bottle but promised to write down the name of it and send it to her.

He also asked what he could do for Andrea.

“I said, ‘The only thing I’d like from you is an apology,’ ” Gianna said. “He said, ‘I apologize to Andrea and I apologize to you, mom.’ ”

Unsatisfied with that outcome, she said, she bought a tape recorder to try to get him to say again all that he had told her — but this time, she would record it.

But that next phone conversation between them, also in January 2005, did not go as planned.

Andrea Constand

Instead of repeating what he’d told her before or telling her what he gave Andrea, Cosby instead offered to pay for Andrea’s graduate school, Gianna testified. But she said she told him she’d have to discuss it with her daughter.

“I just wanted to ask you one quick question because I’m a little worried,” Gianna said to Cosby in the recording, which was played in court. “Are you really going to send that piece of paper with the name of that stuff or not? Or were you joking?”

Cosby replied, “We can talk about what you asked for later … I don’t think so. I wouldn’t even worry about that. Let’s get to the other thing, okay?”

He also asked a couple of times what a beeping sound was that he could hear on the call, thinking he was being taped. First, Gianna said it was her parrot — which she does own, according to her testimony — and then she said she thought someone was beeping in on her call waiting.

But she did not reveal she was recording him, she admitted.

• 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.

After the recording was played, Steele, the district attorney, gently asked her why she was so aggressive in that phone call with Cosby.

Gianna dissolved into tears and had to stop to get a tissue and wipe her eyes.

“I was very upset because I knew that Mr. Cosby had mentored her [Andrea] and they were good friends,” she said. “She viewed him like a father. He’s 10 years older than her own father. I was obviously very distraught at the fact [of] what he did to her … that he betrayed her.”

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
| Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool

‘I Think I Have PTSD’

Gianna said that months before Andrea told her Cosby had allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her, she noticed changes in her daughter.

“She was having a lot of nightmares,” Gianna testified. “I could hear her, the fact that she screamed after the nightmares. I assumed she was having a bad dream. It was very, very frequent. She would scream in her sleep, or she would wake up in a sweat.”

But it wasn’t until January 2005, when her daughter called her on her way to work, that she learned what had been tormenting Andrea.

“‘Mom, I think I have PTSD,’ ” Gianna said of that conversation. “She said, ‘Mom, he [Cosby] drugged me and he raped me.’ ”

Andrea moved back in with her parents in Canada after leaving her job as direction of operations at Temple University’s women’s basketball team on March 31, 2004, Gianna said, and Andrea applied to massage school to become a massage therapist like her father.

It was then that Gianna noticed behavioral changes in her daughter and heard her screaming in her sleep, she said.

“Something was going on,” Gianna said. “Our daughter was not the same person.”

Defense attorney Angela Agrusa spent only about 15 minutes cross-examining her. She repeatedly asked to replay the recording of Gianna’s conversation with Cosby, but the judge refused to allow it.