The Defense of Bill Cosby Has Begun


NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania—The defense of Bill Cosby began Thursday in the famous comedian’s retrial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. In his trial last year, Cosby’s defense was barely a defense at all, with his lawyers going almost immediately to closing arguments and telling jurors there was simply no case to defend against. This year, his lawyers say they have witnesses and called their first before the lunch break—Pamela Gray-Young, who used to work for the Temple women’s basketball team at the same time as Andrea Constand, the woman who said that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her back in 2004.

The prosecution is not completely done with witnesses, though. This morning, they called former book publisher Judith Regan, who testified that TV star and former supermodel Janice Dickinson did want to write in her autobiography that Cosby had drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe. And an expert is scheduled to testify for prosecutors on Thursday; the expert couldn’t get into town and be ready to testify by today.

Gray-Young testified that she recalled Constand traveling with the team. This testimony came up because the defense is expected to try and called Marguerite “Margo” Jackson as a witness later on today. Jackson is expected to testify that she once roomed with Constand on a Temple road trip and, on that road trip, Constand told Jackson that she could make up a story about sexual assault to get money from a famous person. Constand, under oath, said she always had a room to herself for Temple road trips.

On cross examination, prosecutor Kristen Feden showed Gray-Young a memo from a member of the Cosby legal defense team. In the memo, it said that Gray-Young recalled she did not travel with the team. Gray-Young said the memo was wrong.

Near the end, when defense lawyer Kathleen Bliss asked Gray-Young if she was paid to testify, she got a laugh from the gallery.

“Not at all,” Gray-Young said. “You can check my bank account.”

Earlier in the day, Regan spoke about the decision to leave out Dickinson’s story that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at Lake Tahoe from Dickinson’s autobiography. Dickinson had testified under oath last week that the publisher made her take it out even though she wanted to include it.

“I don’t remember verbatim, but I remember at one point during the preparation of the book that she had been raped by Mr. Cosby and she wanted to include that in the book,” Regan said. “And, at that time, I told her it would be unlikely we would be able to do that.”

Near the end, when defense lawyer Kathleen Bliss asked Gray-Young if she was paid to testify, she got a laugh from the gallery.

Regan said the reason was because of the legal department: “The legal department would require corroboration, and corroboration at that time would mean a witness.”

Prosecutor Stewart Ryan asked Regan if this upset Dickinson.

“She was very angry that we would not include it in the book,” Regan answered.

After the short and straightforward questioning by Ryan, defense lawyer Tom Mesereau did the cross examination and did his best with his questions to imply that Regan had violated her duties as a publisher and intentionally published lies. Like Dickinson, Regan pushed back on Mesereau’s leading questions. When Mesereau asked her if a “false story was created” for the book, Regan first replied with a “what?”, later with “I don’t know,” and finally by saying that she would tell memoir authors “they have the right to tell the story in any way they see fit.”

Mesereau used his questions to say in court that Regan also had a part in the O.J. Simpson book If I Did It and Jenna Jameson’s How to Make Love Like a Porn Star. Mesereau asked her: “Did you help O.J. Simpson hide money from the publication that book?” An objection to that question was sustained. Near the end, Mesereau bought up that Regan had once worked at the National Enquirer. Mesereau stopped after two objections were sustained. But Regan started to answer it anyway.

“I am happy to answer those questions,” she said. “I did work at the National Enquirer in the 1970s.”

Judge Steven O’Neill butted in, telling Regan she has to stop talking.

“You might be happy to answer it,” O’Neill said, “but you can’t answer it.”

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