Andrea Constand on Testifying Against Bill Cosby and Healing From Trauma

“I may see that my expertise was only one small hyperlink in an enormous chain of predation,” writes Andrea Constand in her new memoir, The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women, out this week from Viking. The e-book delves into Constand’s life over the practically 20 years of authorized battles since an acquaintance launched her, then the 29-year-old director of operations for Temple College’s ladies’s basketball staff, to Cosby, a Temple alum. In 2004, after fostering what she understood to be a mentorship, she writes, throughout a gathering at his home Cosby provided her three blue drugs that he claimed would assist her calm down; as she fell out and in of consciousness, Cosby sexually assaulted her. When she got here to the subsequent morning she writes that Cosby, clad in a bathrobe, provided her a blueberry muffin on her manner out the door.

The occasions of that night time turned central to a civil trial by which Cosby paid Constand a $3.38 million settlement, and later two prison trials—Constand has been known as the “linchpin” of the case in opposition to the comic—the second of which discovered Cosby responsible of three counts of felony aggravated assault. Constand’s memoir particulars her anxiousness whereas testifying and ready for jury selections, the impact of her assault on subsequent romantic relationships, and the trauma she felt when she realized about Cosby’s prior alleged assault victims: “Listening to those accounts typically introduced me to tears,” she writes. “It was shattering to listen to haunting echoes of my previous.” However she additionally describes the huge assist she present in these ladies, and in an ever-expanding community of sexual violence survivors who’ve sought her out within the years since her personal assault—an inspiration, partly, for the Hope Therapeutic and Transformation basis she started, geared toward aiding victims heal from trauma.

Constand’s memoir could appear to convey a neat arc, from its preliminary defining adversity by means of to vindication—however by 2020, when Constand completed her memoir, Cosby was nonetheless incarcerated; at publication, his conviction has been vacated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Courtroom on the grounds that Bruce L. Castor Jr. (who in 2005 served because the Montgomery County district lawyer and declined to prosecute Cosby in a prison trial) testified that he had made a secret deal that Cosby would by no means be prosecuted for his alleged crimes.

Constand’s is a narrative of unhappiness and pleasure, of disappointment and triumph, on each stage: Early on within the memoir, she writes about her poodle, Maddy, who turned her remedy canine two years after her assault. When reached by telephone the week earlier than her memoir was revealed, Constand was in mourning: At age 15, simply 24 hours after Constand obtained the primary completed copy of her e-book, Maddy had died. “It was very emotional that this animal who was my remedy, my finest good friend, every part—that the day the e-book will get in my palms, inside 24 hours she’s gone,” Constand stated. Nonetheless, a number of weeks earlier than, she had a brand new addition to the family: Chase, a now 12-week-old pet. “It was a stark reminder of closure,” Constand stated. “New beginnings, unhappy endings.”

Self-importance Truthful: How did you are feeling this summer season once you realized that Cosby’s conviction had been overturned?

Andrea Constand: District attorneys mustn’t have the wherewithal to have the ability to give immunity. Judges ought to be capable of give immunity. My attorneys and I got here out with an announcement about how we felt, which was that we didn’t need it to discourage different victims from coming ahead, different survivors from reporting what occurred to them. There shouldn’t be any backroom offers accomplished on a handshake. Victims deserve way more than that. We deserve extra.

The director of communications, Kate Delano from the Montgomery County District Lawyer’s Workplace known as me, and he or she gave me a heads-up and he or she stated, I’ve a sense one thing can be determined right now, I’ll name you again. She known as me again shortly after, and in not so many phrases informed me, with out studying the opinion, that Cosby was going to be getting out of jail, actually inside the subsequent couple of hours. And that his conviction had been vacated. And I didn’t know what that meant. [My lawyers] Kristen Fedin and Stewart Ryan each known as me and requested if I had any questions. The one questions I had have been, is he going to be designated a sexually violent predator? What about his sexual offender standing? They usually simply stated, “There may be none. He’s going to stroll free out of jail, and with no designation.”

I received the largest lump in my throat, as a result of I simply thought to myself, if survivors do come ahead and need to be protected by a system—no matter whether or not their perpetrator serves jail time or not—how are they going to really feel about this? I by no means simply thought of what this implies for me. I believed, What does this imply for everyone? What does this imply for the system, for survivors coming ahead, and on this local weather? And I simply needed to course of that.

After processing it I believed, It is a one who nearly served their minimal sentence in jail. We received justice. And I wasn’t indignant. Different Cosby survivors have been indignant. They have been devastated. However I rapidly turned it round to not feeling disgrace for what had occurred. I had accomplished all that I may do. I felt like that burden was lifted and it was now with the courts, again the place it must be. I wasn’t in charge of making that call. On the finish of the day, I may stroll away from this saying, sure, I did every part I probably may and that is not mine, this disgrace. I not carry that disgrace.

If he have been to come back out and re-offend, I believed, that is not mine. I felt not accountable for that. It’s what it’s. And it was a burden lifted.

All through your memoir, there are such a lot of moments the place you describe being beneath extraordinary stress and stress—through the first trial, when the jury was deliberating, you write about breaking down and crying within the bathtub. Did you ever really feel remorse about coming ahead?

By no means. The stress was intestine wrenching, however I didn’t suppose when it comes to simply how I used to be feeling—my tears have been for the jury, my tears have been for my staff. My tears have been for truly pondering like, how did this second come to be? There may have been so many issues alongside the best way which may’ve not put me in that state of affairs or for that second to not have occurred, however in life you simply should hold going. | Andrea Constand on Testifying Towards Invoice Cosby and Therapeutic From Trauma


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