Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand gives 1st TV interview since his release from prison

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Andrea Constand is breaking her silence about Bill Cosby being released from prison.

The former Temple University basketball team administrator — whose 2004 sexual assault allegation led to Cosby's initial 2018 conviction which was then overturned in June — told NBC News in her first interview that she was "shocked" and "disappointed" that the 84-year-old Cosby Show actor was freed. She said it was "disgusting" watching him celebrate his release

“He's a sexually violent predator who basically was let out of jail," Constand told NBC News’s Kate Snow in an interview previewed on Tuesday's Today show.

As for him celebrating his release, she said it was "disgusting," but it "didn't surprise me, given the level of the arrogance and having no remorse. During the time he was incarcerated, absolutely zero remorse for what he did to me."

Nonetheless, it was still "worth it" to take him on in court, delivering essential testimony, despite the impact that had on her life — and that of her family.

CHELTENHAM, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 30: Bill Cosby speaks to reporters outside of his home on June 30, 2021 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Bill Cosby was released from prison after court overturns his sex assault conviction. (Photo by Michael Abbott/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby speaks to reporters outside of his home on June 30, 2021 after being released from prison. (Photo: Michael Abbott/Getty Images)

"Bill Cosby walks free, but it doesn't change the fact that my testimony was believed," said Constand, who is telling her story in the new book The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women.

She continued, "I have come way too far to go back to that place to wonder whether it's all worth it, or to have regrets. It was worth it. But it was worth it because I didn't feel alone. I had a whole community, a whole army of women and other survivors, strangers, family, friends, who were right there with me."

She called the criminal justice system "flawed" for Cosby's conviction being overturned. In June, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that in 2005 the D.A. essentially promised Cosby he would never be criminally charged – despite there being no formal agreement. So when he was charged 10 years later, and later convicted after two trials, it was a violation of his due process rights.

"How can you — [a] district attorney without a judge's written immunity — enforce a decision on a backroom handshake?" she asked. "How can you give any credibility to that?"

As for Cosby's plans to go on a comedy tour, Constand said she doesn't “really care.” However, she questions those paying money to see him.

“Anybody that gives him a platform to speak, to joke — rape is not a joke,” she said.

She also called Phylicia Rashad celebrating Cosby being released — which she later apologized for – "disappointing."

Constand lives in Canada and is now running a foundation called Hope Healing and Transformation. She said, despite the outcome in her case, her mission is to "send a message, to not let this deter you from coming forward, from getting the peace, and the healing and the closure that you need." 

And she said she will continue to "fight" and "be a voice for the change."

Some 60 women accused Cosby of varying degrees of sexual misconduct amid the #MeToo movement. Constand testified that, in January 2004, her mentor Cosby drugged and raped her at his Pennsylvania home. Immediately after, Constand, who is gay, was required to continue to interact with Cosby, who was on the board of trustees at Temple, when he would call the school’s basketball office. However, she left her job soon after and moved to Toronto. While she was initially still in contact with Cosby, she filed a police report about the assault in January 2005. When Pennsylvania authorities decided not to prosecute, she pursued a civil suit and was awarded a settlement, saying in her 2018 testimony that she did so "because it was a very painstaking process for me and my family, it tore my family apart and we just wanted it over."

The rest of Constand's interview airs Tuesday on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT. 

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