NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Prosecutors wrapped up their case against Bill Cosby on Friday, saving until practically the very end the comedian’s damaging, decade-old testimony about giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.
Prosecutors called 13 witnesses over five brisk days. The defense will begin its case Monday in the sexual assault trial.
Bill Cosby may testify at his trial after all. Cosby’s spokesman told Eyewitness News on Friday that the comedian’s defense team may switch things around and put the defendant on the stand.
“Nothing is ever off the table when you are in a trial of this magnitude. You have to look and weigh all your options,” spokesman Andrew Wyatt told Eyewitness News.
This comes as testimony was read to the jury on Friday where Cosby says he apologized to the family of the woman he is accused of drugging and assaulting only because her mother thought he was “a dirty old man.”
Cosby’s explanation was contained in a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of a lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand, the woman whose allegations resulted in the only criminal charges brought against the TV star.
Portions of the deposition became public nearly two years ago.
In the deposition, he recounted a telephone conversation he had with Constand’s mother.
“I apologized to this woman. But my apology was, my God, I’m in trouble with these people because this is an old man and their young daughter and the mother sees this,” he said in the 2005 deposition.
Constand, 44, testified this week that Cosby penetrated her with his fingers against her will in 2004 after giving her pills that left her paralyzed, unable to tell him to stop. Cosby maintains the encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home was consensual. The 79-year-old TV star could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
During the deposition, Cosby told lawyers that he knew his finances could suffer if the public was told he had drugged and assaulted someone.
“Do you think there would be a financial consequence to you if the public believed that you gave Andrea a drug that took away her ability to consent and then had sexual contact with her?” Cosby was asked.
“Yes,” he said.
According to the deposition, Constand’s mother repeatedly asked Cosby over the phone about the pills he had given her daughter, but Cosby refused to tell her what they were and said he would send them in the mail, which he never did.
“I didn’t want to talk about what did you give her. We’re over the telephone and I’m not sending anything over the mail and I’m not giving away anything,” Cosby testified.
Cosby also recounted Cosby described calling Constand’s family and offering her money for graduate school. Constand refused the offer and reported Cosby to police, filing suit after prosecutors failed to file charges.
Cosby eventually settled with Constand for an undisclosed sum, and his deposition was sealed for years, until a judge released parts of it in 2015 at the request of The Associated Press. The criminal case was reopened when Cosby’s deposition became public.
In the deposition, Cosby said he gave Constand three half-tablets of the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before the “petting” began. Prosecutors have suggested he drugged her with something stronger, perhaps quaaludes.
Cosby has always maintained that the sexual contact was consensual. Andrew Wyatt says that reality is difficult for Cosby’s wife Camille, but she still supports her husband.
“People think because of optics that if you don’t see them here that they don’t love you and you’re not together anymore. That doesn’t say that you don’t have the support. What it says is you want to protect your family from being attacked,” Wyatt said.
Some 60 women have come forward to say Cosby sexually violated them, but the statute of limitations for prosecution had run out in nearly every case. Constand’s case is the only one in which Cosby has been charged.
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