As disgraced comedian Bill Cosby prepares to face sexual assault charges for a second time following last year’s mistrial, a new report claims to offer information about a 2006 payment he allegedly made to accuser Andrea Constand in the form of hush money.
Though Cosby has been accused of varying degrees of sexual misconduct by multiple women in recent years, Constand’s 2004 allegations fall within the statue of limitations and were the focus of charges filed against him in 2015.
According to Page Six, Cosby attempted to buy her silence for $3.5 million in the 2006 civil settlement.
That payment has been broadly mentioned as part of the developing media narrative, though this week’s report is the first to include a dollar figure.
News of the hush money dates back to the 2016 inauguration of Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, who disregarded the then-defunct agreement in favor of seeking the criminal penalties his predecessor opted against.
Constand has described what she said was the sexual assault that occurred at Cosby’s home after he gave her three pills and a glass of wine.
“My vision became blurry and I could hardly speak,” she said. “I became frozen and paralyzed and he was touching my breasts and put his hands down my pants.”
During last year’s trial, Steele pointed directly at the 80-year-old former entertainer and identified him as “a serial abuser” who “selects his victims, … gives them an intoxicant and … assaults them.”
Cosby has previously denied any non-consensual contact with Constand, claiming she falsely characterized a consensual relationship after becoming upset that did not get her a broadcasting job.
His attorneys now reportedly plan to turn details about the settlement against his accuser by portraying the seven-figure payoff not as an admission of any wrongdoing but as a way to get rid of what was becoming a “nuisance.”
[Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby/Associated Press]