Andrea Constand Speaks: ‘I Forgave Bill Cosby for What He Did to Me’

Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand at the Montgomery County Courthouse on April 26, 2018, in Norristown, Pa.
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand at the Montgomery County Courthouse on April 26, 2018, in Norristown, Pa.
Photo: Mark Makela (Getty Images)

The woman who was at the center of Bill Cosby’s recent trial, Andrea Constand, says that although it’s taken years, she’s forgiven Cosby for the 2004 drugging and indecent assault of which he was convicted in April.

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“I forgave Bill Cosby for what he did to me, “ she said on NBC’s Dateline on Friday night, noting that she was angry about what happened for a long time. “It’s been many, many years. And if I did not forgive him, I wouldn’t have peace.”

Constand, who has rarely spoken publicly about the incident, said that she initially didn’t think anyone would believe her, not only because of Cosby’s notoriety but also because of the wholesome characters he’s played over the years.

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“It was Bill Cosby. It was Dr. Huxtable,” Constand said, later adding, “Who’s going to believe me?”

Constand said that she finally told her mother a year after the assault because she said she feared that if she didn’t, there would be other victims.

“I woke up crying and I said, ‘Mom, Mr. Cosby drugged me and he sexually violated me,’” Constand recalled. “And she was so caught off guard.”

Of the specific drugging that happened at Cosby’s suburban-Philadelphia home, she said she went “limp” after taking what Cosby offered her.

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“My mind is saying, ‘Move your hands. Kick. Can you do anything? I don’t want this. Why is this person doing this?’”

Cosby, 80, was found guilty on all counts at his retrial on April 26. (The first trial ended in a hung jury last summer.) He faces up to 30 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for September.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

vincentpricethrillerlaugh
Vincent Price's Laugh

I’ll tell you right now that being roofied was one of the worst experiences of my life. Your body feels like you’re asleep but your mind feels like you’re awake. People equate it with poppin pills but it’s not even on the same level. Xannies and percs and vikes or whatever make you feel lifted. That shit made me feel like I was dying in slow motion.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I was that nothing happened. I thought I was about to throw up from drinking too much (only one drink though so I should have known) so I locked myself in the bathroom to have some privacy. When they finally kicked me out, I took my friend into a bedroom to pretend like we were fuckin but I really just needed to lie down with someone safe. They said they had never seen somebody so coherent yet so fucked up before. I didn’t actually know I was roofied until word got around social media that it happened to somebody else who had to go to the ER because they couldn’t breathe. That party’s attendance fell off and they blamed it on not enough promotion. More like bad reputation.

That’s why when I read these descriptions of their experiences, it feels too familiar. The whole “what’s going on?” and “what did you do to me?” Fuck anybody who drops pills in your drink either as a joke or revenge or to try and date rape you. They are choosing to put someone’s fate in their hands, then wanna play fast and loose when their fate is being decided by someone else. Bye Dr. Huxtable. You can die in the bing for all I care. There’s enough black men out here who are real role models and don’t just play one on TV.