Bill Cosby entered a Pennsylvania courtroom on Monday morning for day one of his sexual assault trial in connection with allegations made by former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand.
The comedian stands three counts of aggravated indecent assault, and the level of intensity and emotion of the trial has already been compared to that of the O.J. Simpson trial.
Day one alone was full of antics and drama, so here are five things you should know about the start of Cosby’s trial.
Keshia Knight Pulliam: Keshia Knight Pulliam arrived to the courthouse hand in hand with the comedian. The former The Cosby Show star was there to support her former television father and when talking to reporters outside the courtroom, said: “I came to support [Cosby] because this is where you hear the facts. This is where the truth happens,” the 38-year-old said. “Ultimately, it’s easy to support someone and to be in their corner when things are great, when things are good. But…true family, friendship, integrity is how people show up and support when things aren’t looking so great, when they aren’t shining.”
Opening Statements: After assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden suggested to the presiding judge Steven O’Neill that the case is about “trust, betrayal and the inability to consent,” Cosby’s defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, fired back with: “The only thing that is worse than [sexual assault] is the false accusation of sexual assault.”
Witness Kelly Johnson: Kelly Johnson was the first witness to take the stand. Johnson is one of the many accusers who have come forward in the past claiming she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. According to Johnson, in 1996, six years after initially meeting the actor, the now 79-year-old offered her a pill during a private meeting at his bungalow. That’s when he allegedly assaulted her. A tearful Kelly claimed she did not go to officials because she was “afraid.”
When being cross examined, Cosby’s lawyers called her out for claiming to never being a drug user but that night, for some reason, “took a pill out of a man’s hand, who was in a robe, and took it? That’s your sworn testimony?”
Please, No More Kelly: Prosecutors now want to put Kelly’s mother and lawyer on the stand, but the defense wants to shut that down because this case is not about Kelly, rather about Constand.
Andrea’s Case: In 2015, Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault after Constand claimed the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in Cheltenham Township, Philadelphia, back in 2004.
Constand claims she and Bill were friends and the night at his home, she was given wine and pills.
According to the initial statement released by the district attorneys, the effect of the wine and pills caused Constant to become “incapacitated.” After leading the victim to the couch, the comedian “fondled the victim’s breasts, put his hands inside her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. During the assault, Cosby also put her hand on his erect penis. The victim did not consent to any of these acts and reported that she was unable to move or speak and felt ‘frozen’ and ‘paralyzed.’”
In January 2005, the alleged victim’s mother filed a complaint to local Canadian authorities over the alleged incident, in which officials turned over to authorities in Pennsylvania. However, after an investigation by the former District Attorney, it was announced that “no criminal charges were forthcoming.”