Opening arguments in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial revealed for the first time that the actor paid $3.4 million to his accuser to keep quiet, according to ABC News.
Prosecutors got right down to business Monday, sharing the payoff amount the 80-year-old actor gave to the Andrea Constand to hush up about her accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004 in a 2006 civil suit. That suit was unsealed in 2015.
Cosby now stands trial for a second time for those same allegations. The case was declared a mistrial last year after the jury failed to reach a verdict following six days of deliberation.
“The evidence in this case will show that Andrea Constand didn’t come to us. What happened was, after this gets released, we go to her. And we ask if she’s willing to help the commonwealth,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele shared with the jury, as he spent his time playing defense to upcoming arguments from the Cosby’s team.
“You’re going to hear her describe to the best of her ability what happened,” he added. “When I say to the best of her ability, make sure you consider those pills and that glass of wine because then he [Cosby] helped her to a sofa. She’s unconscious, she’s jolted. And she’s herself being violated.”
He also encouraged the jury to “listen to the testimony that she did not say ‘yes.’ That, as we all know, is a woman’s right.”
Before the trial even started Monday morning, things got off to a wild start after former “Cosby Show” guest Nicolle Rochelle showed up outside the Pennsylvania courthouse topless, jumping the barricade and charging the comedian before being wrangled to the ground by authorities.
Rochelle said she didn’t want to cause Cosby any harm, but did it in hopes of making the comedian “uncomfortable.”
“I wanted him to feel my presence and to feel uncomfortable,” the actress told the Los Angeles Times.
Rochelle said that Cosby never made her feel uncomfortable or acted inappropriately towards her on set, but she was “horrified” by the accusations and showed up to give her support to Cosby’s other accusers.
It will be the defense’s turn for opening arguments on Tuesday morning.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect that the pay out was $3.4 million, not $3.8 million as previously reported.