The fate of comedian Bill Cosby is now in the hands of a jury in suburban Philadelphia. Jury deliberations follow more than two weeks of testimony over whether Cosby is guilty of sexually assaulting a former basketball coach in 2004.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you have now heard all the evidence in this case.” Judge Steven T. O’Neill told jurors. “
The defense presented a dual closing argument, meaning one attorney started the closing with a second finishing it. Closing arguments for the defense kicked off just after 10:00 a.m. with attorney Kathleen Bliss starting and lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau finishing it off.
Below is a complete rundown on the defense’s closing Tuesday,
“I can say Mr. Steele sexually assaulted me last year.” Attorney Kathleen Bliss told jurors during closing argument. “What would you think? That’s absolutely preposterous. What would you think? Spare the details, my word against his word? You really think you could convict him on that?”
“You’re about to make one of the most decisions you will have ever made in your lives. You’re [going to] decide the fate of Mr. Cosby. It is Judge O’Neill who will instruct you, you must base that decision on a belief that has no hesitation. That has no loitering questions. You must be convinced solely on the evidence that you heard in this courtroom. You’re [going to] base your decision just as you would on any serious life decision that you would make.” Kathleen continued, now changing to a very soft and heartfelt tone. “You’re deciding Mr. Cosby’s fate.”
“Ladies and gentlemen as you heard in the last few weeks in this courtroom, there is not credible evidence to support any notion that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted Andrea Constand. There’s not credible, objective, tangible evidence, no forensic evidence, to suggest that he drugged Andrea Constand. Certainly you have some opinions and you have a lot of inconsistent statements from one person, and that’s Ms. Constand.
Acquit. Acquit Mr. Cosby.
Things that are indisputable, things you will evaluate when you make this decision. I would like to thank Judge O’Neill for allowing us to split this argument.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you. I watched you. You really care about the decision you’re going to be making. We are grateful that you have given us your fair, due, objective consideration – because that is what makes our system. We hear a lot about due process, due process. This is due process. You are due process.
As I said, this is going to be one of the most decisions you have ever made. Now, the evidence.
We called Margo Jackson to tell you what she heard in 2004 from Andrea Constand. Ms. Jackson has no stake in this case. She owes no one anything. She heard this statement in the context of a television show, where a man had drugged women. He was a high profile guy, a celebrity. After Andrea suggested something like that had happened to her, Ms. Jackson urged her to report it. Then she questioned her again.
Remember her background, she’s dealt with sexual assault victims. Something wasn’t adding up, the demeanor – so she pressed.
Ms. Constand told her ‘well it didn’t happen, I could say it happen, and then I could get money, I could go to school and I could open a business.’
What do you think happened? She got money, she went to school, and who knows if she opened a business but she got exactly what she wanted.
Now, I anticipate that the prosecution will strongly attack Ms. Jackson. They tried to do so when she testified. They tried to suggest the women who got together and might’ve created this statement. She was interviewed by the Commonwealth, did they follow up? Did they check her out? More importantly, what did they do with the statement she gave them with that strong indisputable moment that Andrea said to her in her hotel room in Rhode Island? What did they do? Nothing.
Think about the circumstances.
Ms. Jackson was aware that there was a criminal charge and then a civil case settled around 2006. Nothing else happened. Then around 2016, she hears that there’s another criminal case. She didn’t think it was right. That’s what prompted her to come forward.
She wanted to right a wrong.
She tried to testify with previous counsel, she wasn’t allowed. She suffered amazing scrutiny by the media. She has no privacy. She’s been at temple for over 30 years, a solid employee. You would’ve thought that they would’ve done something to check her out other than bicker about quotation marks, right? Who are you going to believe?
Are you going to believe the mature dignified woman who takes the stand and gives you specific details that do not change – or someone who gives inconsistent statements, one after the other, after the other after the other.
Who are you going to believe? A well educated woman who works at Temple who counsels students, who has a background in psychology, or a woman who’s briefly at Temple running a pyramid scheme at the same time. Who are you going to believe?
A woman who’s been there for 3 decades, Margo Jackson or Andrea Constand who’s scanning for other jobs? Now Ms. Jackson came in to right a wrong. You can examine her credibility and weigh it against a totally discredited Andrea Constand. You can evaluate the flimsy attacks that this Commonwealth took. You could look at the prosecution’s strong motive. Remember this case was denied in 2005. You’re back again after 2017.
You look at the Commonwealth’s motives here when they don’t even follow up on someone who has bombshell testimony about the sole accuser here.
Ladies and gentlemen this case is over with Ms. Jackson’s testimony, it’s over.
Lets talk a little about Gianna Constand. Mrs. Constand is an anger and eager mother or she’s a coast scammer. Remember now, Andrea called Mr. Cosby before she called her mom. Then Andrea, spent the day researching and contacted attorneys. Then at some point in time, Gianna Constand comes home and then they call in the late evening hours, around 9 p.m., they decide to call the Durham Police Department. What were they doing all evening? Think about it, what were they doing. The interview with Mr. Mason was a disaster when you compare it with others. Mr. Mesereau will point out inconsistencies.
So Andrea Constand tells her mom and Gianna takes over. At some point she consults with her son in law and then she gets a tape recorder. She tells you about a detailed conversation she has with Mr. Cosby. He’s in the frying pan she says. His version? He tells Gianna Constand, ‘get Andrea on the phone. Andrea, tell them what happened. Andrea, tell her what happened.’ He tells Gianna Constand yes they had a sexual encounter. Yes I gave her Benadryl. Yes he feels badly. Think about it. He’s 30 years older than she is? He’s got this mother accusing him, yelling at him, whatever she was doing, you saw her on the stand, and he’s also worried about extortion. He’s also worried about extortion.
Gianna even fibs when she tells you that all she wanted was an apology because when she gave a statement to police she says otherwise. She says she wanted criminal charges and then something reasonable. You saw her testify, she was angry, evasive, phony, she lied to a school counselor, Marilyn Gordon, she flat lied about recording her. She said I didn’t record anyone else, until she had to listen to herself on tape and finally admit it. She never told Marilyn Gordon she was taping her, she never told Mr. Cosby she was taping him. She said it was a parrot or call waiting. Whatever it was, it was a lie. And contrast her account of this unrecorded confrontation with Mr. Cosby with that of the recorded conversation of Mr. Cosby. Listen to that tone of voice. It’s sweet. It’s the kind of voice that wants concert tickets.
Is it really the voice of someone who tells you from the stand that she was so angry from the day before her eye balls were [going to] explode? Its like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hide. Mr. Cosby discusses an educational fund for Andrea. Yes he feels badly. He’s 30 years older than this woman mom is outraged at him, he’s married, Gianna Constand tells you she raised her girls to be good girls and she’s with an older married man? I think she said he’s the age of her grandfather? Yes Mr. Cosby feels badly. But what kind of offender is going to talk about helping Andrea Constand, who he had mentored, who he had tried to get into broadcasting because that is her dream, what kind of offender is going to say but she has to maintain a 3.0 GPA. What offender is going to tell them about the Benadryl? What offenders even going to talk to them? Then he gets suspicious. You saw the statement. Mr. Cosby has been extorted before, that’s indisputable and he smelled a rat here. And he’s worried about it. He should be. Unless you forget, that statement with the police was given on January 26, 2005. Prior to that, Andrea had given a statement to the police. January 22, 2005. Then, Gianna gives her statement. The one in which she tells the police she wants criminal charges or something reasonable. She gives her statement in February. February 9 2005. Several weeks later, case declined. Gianna’s understanding of her own daughter, who she told you she was with every single minute of the day, yet she doesn’t know that Andrea is having problems at temple. She doesn’t know that Andrea by her own words is stressed, that she can’t sleep, that what she told Mr. Cosby. She’s not aware that Andrea is having problems in her friendship with a Sherri Williams, a friend of the entire family. She didn’t know about Andrea’s interest in broadcasting or the interviews Mr. Cosby had set up for Andrea. She didn’t know those things. She didn’t know Mr. Cosby had introduced Andrea to business owners and university executives. She didn’t know those things. But she knew, at some point, that Andrea was going around with a married man old enough to be hergrandfather.Not a good girl. Not a good girl.“
“Now, the cast of 5 accusers.” Kathleen Bliss continued.
“First you’ve got to think, how unfair is that? Digging up stuff from three decades ago?
This is the instruction that you’ll get: ‘You could only consider the 5 if there is something common. If there’s a scheme, something that assists you in evaluating this case the instruction is clear. You could believe one of them, all of them or not believe any of them. This case is about Andrea Constand.’
Each of these women were motived by a common movement. There’s no doubt. You heard about the press conferences, you heard by many of them are represented by the same attorney you heard about the $100 million fund most of them found out about this by seeing their names on television or seeing someone else and thinking that happened to me too.
Don’t get me wrong that things definitely happened, but I submit to you not every accusation is true.
Your common sense tells you that. Yes, we do have to deal the sexual assault, we do. It’s a worldwide problem there’s no doubt about it. Just like we have to deal with pay disparity, social inequalities, [and] sexual harassment. But questioning an accuser is not shaming a victim. Gut feelings are not rational decisions. Just as we have had horrible, horrible crimes in our history, we’ve also had horrible, horrible periods of time where emotion and hatred and fear overwhelmed us. Lynched us.
When you join a movement, based primarily on a motion of anger, you don’t change a damn thing, which is why each single case must be examined on its merits. All of the evidence must be weighed. The bottom line here is, if you don’t believe Andrea Constand, you must acquit Mr. Cosby.”
Heidi Tomas Fights with a Swan in a Pond
“Do you really believe she took one sip of wine and then was overcome a 4-day odyssey where she’s snapping photographs in the house and fighting with a swan in the pond? Within 2 months, this woman who claims to have been assaulted, fully clothed, went into the bed and turns around to the other end of the bed, roaming around the property, checking out the furniture, in less than two months she uses her own money to fly to saint Louis to see Mr. Cosby. She wants Mr. Cosby. What does she find? There’s another woman there. Heidi Thomas, lovely woman. Ms. Littleton, she wanted to be a star. She’s living the dream now. She’s got speaking tours, on at least 16 television and radio shows. She was on the cover of a magazine.”
Chelan Lasha – Convicted Prostitute
“Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no dispute. Ms. Lasha has been convicted before of lying to the police, giving false information. That’s substantive evidence.
Look at her allegations here, she cant report Mr. Cosby to the police or anyone else but she can show up at a show and heckle him to the point where she makes a fool of herself and then loses her job? That’s an interesting victim response.
She joins a crusade when she sees her name on the bottom of the TV about Mr. Cosby? She calls the number and an attorney sends a car to get her so they can hammer out a press conference statement. The car goes to UCLA hospital where her kid is. She’s headed off, she’s [going to] make a press statement, which she didn’t even prepare.
And importantly, again, consider this, as well as the bias motivation by the Commonwealth, when Detective Reap asked her about her criminal history, she doesn’t tell him about her prior conviction. Think about it ladies and gentlemen, he’s law enforcement, he can run all of that. He probably knew about it. Does he press her about it? No. Does he try to make excuses for her when he’s testifying? No. Even Mr. Ryan will stipulate Ms. Lasha lied to police but she did make it on dateline.”
“Ms. Kinney was a child in the 70’s and 80’s from LSD to cocaine to alcohol to Quaaludes. Party times. She was right in the middle of it. And she tells you that she went with her friend Judy to Mr. Cosby’s place where he was staying in Reno.
Remember, Judy is the one who likes to sleep with big black menand Janice Baker-Kinney suspected that she slept with Mr. Cosby. The next day she tells her roommate and her sister ‘I got really f’d up and slept with Mr. Cosby.
Like Ms. Thomas, she kept a souvenir, to a man she’s claiming to you, sexually assaulted her.
Like Ms. Lubin, Ms. Lasha, Ms. Dicksinon, Ms. Thomas, she heard about this case and joined the movement. Must’ve been #MeToo.
Even though when it happened ‘I told my roommate and my sister I got really f’d up and slept with Mr. Cosby.’ Where is her morality? Where are her values? Where is a little personal responsibility?
‘I got real f’d up and slept with Mr. Cosby.’
Yes, she’s regretting it now. But it’s no basis for prior regrets about clearly a one-night stand to march into this courtroom and tell you she was sexually assaulted then. We’re not talking about children and teenagers here. We’re talking about adults who want to party and now come forward with claims of rape. And its just incredulous that Ms. Baker-Kinney would tell you she never talked to Andrea Constand. She spent an hour with her in DC at a march. They FaceTimed.
Janice Dickinson – “A Failed Starlet”
“Janice Dickinson, where do I start? She’s got a first amendment and she can say anything she wants to. She has poetic license to sell books. Here we go again. She starts her crusade with an attorney in 2014, who is she? Who is Janice Dickinson really? You saw her.
She’s a failed starlet. She’s an aged out model. She sold a lot of books in her time. Sex sells.
I mean it sounds as though she slept with every single man on the planet. And when she flies hours and hours and hours with Mr. Cosby, demanding first class by the way, he’s not interested. So she goes to her room boozes it up and takes Quaaludes. This is the woman whose got to do a maternity test with Sylvester Stallone and some other guy, Rocky’s just a contender.
Is Ms. Dickinson really the moral beacon that women’s movements want?
She tried to bring in her publicist and Judith Regan. Judith Regan tried to tell you that: Oh, no she actually cried rape but the attorneys wouldn’t allow it. That’s just nonsense. The attorneys wouldn’t allow it because they vetted it. They didn’t want a lawsuit for defamation. It wasn’t credible. Did Judith Regan ever tell you she believed Janice Dickinson? Nope.
She says ‘America’s dad mounted her in 1982,’ Bill Cosby didn’t even air until 1984. That’s not a little white lie.”
“She thinks something happened because she downed two shots of booze and Mr. Cosby stroked her hair. She was out for days at her house. You think someone would call a doctor? She can’t even tell you if anything happened. She just wants to be part of it. Suspicious, watching something on TV because someone else said it, what is that? Toss it. Toss it. The drugs, the only drug at issue here is Benadryl. The same kind of drug that we buy over the counter, we take we give to our kids, we can give it to dogs, its blue and round. It was blue and round back then, still blue and round. Not a single expert here testified that the symptoms Andrea Constand was claiming could’ve been caused by Benadryl. It doesn’t cause paralyses. It doesn’t cause memory loss. It doesn’t keep you from being able to talk or speak. It’s Benadryl. You think if it was so dangerous it could knock someone out, you’d still be able to pick it up at target, CVS? Quaaludes. You heard the testimony about Quaaludes. Those symptoms wouldn’t have occurred either. Plus it’s a big white tablet the size of a mint. It’s all preposterous. There is not a scintilla of scientific or suggestive evidence to back this up.
They want you to think that Andrea Constand had she actually suffered this horrible, horrible events, and symptoms, that she would’ve gone to a doctor. That she would’ve gotten a blood test. That she would’ve done something. It’s common sense. It’s responsibility. It’s truth.”
“Again, ladies and gentlemen, he did not look at anything. He says Mr. Cosby’s statement is what he considered. The inconsistencies. It should make you shutter to your bones, a cop with that kind of attitude. Who cares about facts? Who cares about checking out to see whose telling the truth and who’s not. That should make you shudder to your bones. Do you want a criminal justice system like that? The commonwealth simply wants you to join a wave of beliefs of the denigration of women, and yes, just like sexual assault the denigration of women is real. For every step forward we seem to take a step back. I bet you there’s not a single woman in here who hasn’t felt the pain of feeling lesser, or being made to feel lesser, no counterparts, but yet, we are women. We are not snowflakes. We are not delicate flowers. And so this rape myth, that someone like Dr. Zivv would ask you to buy into with a “if she says x, its rape, if she says y, its rape, if she says c, it’s rape, whatever she says, don’t worry about the details.” As women, we don’t abandon facts or science or truth as men and women we reject gossip and speculation and false promises. That’s what makes for a strong and stable society. That’s what makes for due process. That’s what makes for an effective criminal justice system. Otherwise it fails all of us. Here we have a 30 year old woman, Andrea Constand, who repeatedly came on to a man 30 years or older, barraged him with calls after she claimed he sexually assaulted her she kept calling him, she laid in his bed at a casino where she driven over 3 hours to get there in the night, trying to tell you she wanted to see an Indian reservation, seriously? She kept pressing for these broadcasting opportunities after she claimed Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted her even going to NYC. She lied about her interest in broadcasting. She gave Mr. Cosby gifts, including her face super imposed on fat albert, incense, bath salts, she went to him home, repeatedly, she drank wine and cognac and ate dinner. He gave her gifts too like perfume and cashmere sweaters. There’s no doubt that something was going on here, there’s no doubt. She showed up the night she claims he assaulted her, complaining about how stressed she had been, she couldn’t sleep. He gave her the same type of medication he takes when hes like that, shes wearing one of the cashmere sweaters he gave her, the gray one, comfort, cashmere, cuddling, I accept.
Yet, the commonwealth never checked it out.
They never checked out Margo Jackson. They declined the case after all the statements were in in 2005. And they’re back and bringing in 5 accusers? Because the case cant stand on the merits when you just look at Andrea Constand. Ladies and gentlemen you can’t convict Mr. Cosby if you don’t believe her.
What is this case about? It’s about money, press conferences, tv shows, ratings, sex sells, and there’s no doubt that there are horrific crimes against women, children and men. But as I speak to you today, there are women who are contained in hospitals and shelters you think these people are going to give a dime to the silent ones who hide in fear? No there’s no money in it.
Let me tell you about sexual assault. I was a prosecutor in 1990. I did it for 22 years. Victims, give you, facts. They recount things that can be checked. They don’t keep changing those stories. They don’t lie for money or retaliation, or wanting attention, or poetic license. I mean, I can say Mr. Steele sexually assaultedme last year, what would you think? That’s absolutely preposterous. What would you think? Spare the details. My word against his word? You really think you could convict him on that?
Don’t forget any of it. But never, ever, let anyone or anything shame you into a conviction.”
“Members of the jury, first of all on behalf of the entire defense team I really thank you very much for your attention, your diligence and how seriously you take this. As Ms. Bliss pointed out, it’s — a very, very serious moment where an 80 years old man who’s legally blind who had a successful career who’s looking at absolute ruin.
A case that was rejected.. A case that was revived. I’ll show you the sequence.”
Mesereau said as he addressed the jury.
“She gave a bunch of statements before this case was declined. He voluntarily let police search his house before this was declined. Suddenly it was revived the last moment.
I have to tell you I very proud to stand up about rumor, gossip, and shallow nonsense. That’s what our country is filled with at the moment. Throughout our history, if you look at it, juries have been courageous, they don’t get pushed around by media or mobs sometimes they get it wrong because they’re human but we have no doubt you’ll try to get this right and not convict on silly, flimsy ridiculous evidence.
Let me say this, in a case without forensic evidence, we don’t have it because of ms. Constand, in a case with no forensics which some people like to call a he said she said, we both admit contact. They just disagree on what exactly it was and why it was.
Credibility becomes everything. In a typical case like this where the accuser lies about something significant, something major, it’s over. The problem here is that there are so many big lies they get lost. The number of these lies starts to drown others out to the point where people who try to defend these lies call them a convenient term, inconsistencies. They’re not inconsistencies. They’re lies.
I’ll show you where she lies. In happens again, and again and again. I tried to separate the biggest lies from the less important lies but lies they are. No expert on sexual assault, no matter what data they show to you or study, they relay to you they can’t describe lies. Lies are out of the box of their expertise. They can’t explain flat out lies.
Lets go through a few of them through transcript. Lawyers can disagree on what people said, but transcripts don’t lie.
12 Significant Lies
One, she lied about getting in bed with Bill Cosby.
Two, she lied about prior sexual contact with Bill Cosby.
Three, she lied about her trip to Connecticut.
Four, she lied about being alone with Bill Cosby.
Five, she lied about flirting with Bill Cosby
Six, she lied about nature of relationship with Bill Cosby.
Seven, she lied about how long she knew bill Cosby night of alleged assault.
Eight, she lied about calling Cosby after the alleged assault.
Nine, she lied about wearing a sweater gifted by Bill Cosby, I didn’t realize what the significance of that was. Ms. Bliss.
Ten, lied about blaming Cosby for temple resignation.
Eleven, lied about roommates on the road.
Twelve, lied about wanting money.”
Mesereau continued his argument
“You need pliers to pull the truth out of this woman, and she’s still going to find a way around it.
Margo Jackson was her worst nightmare.
If you’re going to believe Ms. Constand on all her lies you’d have to conclude Pam and Margo were perjurers.
She called him late at night all the time. Andrea falsely testified that she would call the New York number that she claimed was an answering service to gain access to his Elkins Park home. Why? Because she had to make that up after being caught lying about calling his Pennsylvania number to gain access. Lets use common sense, what do all these phone calls tell you? What does it tell you about her credibility? What does it tell you for her willing to say anything based on the situation? You’re dealing with a pathological liar ladies and gentlemen. You are. You heard about the statute of limitations. Well, the statute of limitations is going to be very very important in the jury room. Let me explain to you why. Judge O’Neill’s going to read you these words, and he’s going to tell you the defendant may not be convicted of aggravated indecent assault unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that 12 years did not pass from the date.
The commonwealth must prove that the assault allegedly happened on or after December 30th 2003. This testimony of hers, that this happened in January, is critical. Members of the jury, it could not have. Her version makes clear it could not of been later January 2004.
January 13, 2005 is when Andrea went to Canadian police. 6 days later she gave a statement to Cheltenham police.
3 days after that she gives a statement to Montgomery county detectives.
So she’s given 3 statements at this point. Mr. Cosby gives his statement to police on January 26 where he admitted the affair, thought he was going to be extorted. The same day he allows the police to search his Pennsylvania home.
February, 2005, she gives another statements, so she’s given four statements by this point that are all conflicting. February 17, 2005, they decline the case. Not just based on her statement, they have his statement. He came down to the police station, said no intercourse, but they touched. Gave her Benadryl. On the basis of all of this they declined the case.
Now, I called that settlement agreement one of the biggest highway robberies of all time. Bill Cosby got conned big time. As you already know because you’ve seen some of the provisions, she didn’t require him to say he did anything wrong. He said he disputed all of this. He thought he was paying for peace. He didn’t get the peace. She had lawyers, she’s sophisticated, she took the money, ran with the money, her father got money, her mother got money, and she goes her merry way working with the prosecution to help convict Mr. Cosby.
It was highway robbery. That’s who she is. From Margo Jackson all the way to the settlement agreement that’s who this person is. There’s no doubt about it. Think to yourself, what did he get out of it? What did he expect to get? What did he agree to get? A disaster. 80 years old on trial for his life. She is a con artist.
I’d like to talk about some of the jury instructions that Judge O’Neill’s going to read to you before you go in to deliberate. It’s called failure to make a prompt complaint. Therefore the delay in making a delay should be considered in deciding her testimony.
Before you find a defendant guilty of a crime charge that the charge did in fact occur and it occurred without Andrea Constand consent.
Do you go to the police station and give a statement if you committed a crime? Do you tell the police search my house I have nothing to hide if you committed a crime? Do you give a deposition if you committed a crime?
They can’t even prove it was timely filed. They wont give you one ounce of evidence that this happened in January. She’s been all over the board but the evidence we dug up, not them, and it wasn’t easy, shows that it couldn’t of happened in January and they cant meet their burden of proof. As you know, Mr Cosby is presumed innocent as we speak at this very moment. Until someone in our society is convicted beyond a reasonable doubt they are innocent. He has never had a criminal conviction in his life. You cant find him guilty based on mere suspicion of guilt. They have a duty of proving him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Can they prove it happened on December 30thor after? Could they prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? If you think Andrea Constand really lied in one of these very important situations, it’s done. If you believe Margo Jackson, it’s done. If you cant believe they can prove when it happened, it’s done.
Each element of this must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. I did this chart just so sort of explain to you how serious this is. If you think someone perhaps is guilty, its not enough. Suspect their guilty its not enough. You think theyre possibly guilty its not enough. Probably guilty? Not enough. They must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt that’s very, very high. It’s the highest burden we have in our society because freedom and reputation is important to Americans. More important than money, more important than property. All of this evidence, if you put it all together, her enormous problems with credibility, her ability to lie to police, lie under oath, her greed, the fact that Mr. Cosby was deposed. Didn’t hide anything, let police search this house, the dead bang evidence that this could’ve never happened in January that they cant dispute. Watch them.
Mr. Prosecutor, lets see you prove this happened in January.”