Andrea Constand on Why She Finally Told Her Mother Bill Cosby Allegedly Drugged and Sexually Assaulted Her: 'I Had a Flashback'
Bill Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in January 2004
For most of the year after she says Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her, Andrea Constand struggled with nightmares, sometimes screaming in her sleep, according to her mother, Gianna Constand.
“There was a change in her daughter’s personality and she’d isolated herself from her friends,” according to the probable cause affidavit used to arrest Cosby, 78, on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. “Mrs. Constand attempted to find out from her daughter what was wrong with her but the victim simply did not answer.”
Finally, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005, Andrea told her mother Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her.
“I had a flashback,” Andrea later told police, explaining what made her finally tell her mother what happened, according to a copy of her entire Jan. 22, 2005 statement to a Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) detective and a Cheltenham Police Department detective, which was just made part of the public record for the first time.
“I just called my mom and said, ‘I need to tell you about something that happened to me, ‘ ” Andrea told the detectives. “I said something happened a while back. I said it involved Mr. Cosby.’
On May 24, District Judge Elizabeth McHugh held Cosby over for trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Constand, now 43, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, home in January 2004.
Cosby denies her allegations (as well as similar ones from more than 50 women) and says the sexual contact was consensual. But Andrea, who is gay and was in a relationship with a woman at the time, says it was not.
She kept silent about what she says happened to her for another year – until finally telling her mother on Jan. 13, 2005.
A Mother’s Nightmare
Andrea described to her mother what she remembered from that evening, saying Cosby offered her pills he told her were herbal medication (he says they were Benadryl) that left her unable to speak or move after about 30 minutes.
“I said, ‘One night around this time last year I was invited to Mr. Cosby’s house and he gave me pills and he sexually violated me without me consenting,’ ” she told her mother.
She hadn’t told anyone before because “there was an element of fear,” she told police. “Before I was going to say anything to anyone I had to put my own thoughts and feelings together. I was emotionally shocked. I was still traumatized about the whole situation. I had some emotional stress I was dealing with. I needed to come to terms with this on my own.”
Enraged, Gianna, who’d spoken to the entertainer many times before, called Cosby herself. When she couldn’t reach him, she left a message on his voicemail. She and her daughter then contacted the police in Ontario, Canada, where they lived.
Three days later, Cosby called her back and they spoke for 2 hours, according to Cosby’s deposition for Constand’s civil suit against him, which he settled with her in late 2006. A federal judge quietly unsealed them on May 20 as part of a defamation against the entertainer.
She wanted to know what drug Cosby had given her daughter, Cosby said.
“She said, ‘I want to know the truth, what you did to my daughter,’ ” he said, according to the deposition. She said “Andrea was depressed and gotten pneumonia … She said three times, ‘This is a mother’s nightmare.’ … She said, ‘I don’t know how long it’s going to take Andrea to heal and I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to heal.’ ”
Cosby apologized and said, ” ‘What can I do?” according to his Jan. 26, 2005 statement to police. “She said, ‘Nothing.’ She said ‘Your apology is enough.’ ”
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Cosby promised to send her a copy of the prescription of what he gave her, but never did. Afterward, he and his representatives offered Andrea money for graduate school.
“Whatever grad school, we will pick up the tab but she must maintain a 3.0 GPA,” Cosby told investigators he told Andrea’s mother. “She did not accept it or reject it.”
At the May 24 preliminary hearing Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby’s defense attorneys, questioned Andrea’s credibility, saying she’d given conflicting statements to investigators.
Two other statements Andrea gave to authorities were just made part of the public record as well. In one of them, Andrea initially says the incident happened in March 2004 not January 2004.
While a trial date has not been set, Montgomery County Judge Steve O’Neill, who refused to dismiss the case after a two-day hearing in February, has been chosen to preside over the trial.