You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Cosby's image as father, family man on the line at sex trial

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/5/2017 By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press
Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — More than a decade after Bill Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the 79-year-old comedian goes on trial on Monday in a sexual assault case that is sure to define his legacy.

ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press ADDS NAME - Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial with Keshia Knight Pulliam, right, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby's image as a father and family man, on screen and off, helped fuel his extraordinary 50-year career in entertainment. He created TV characters, most notably Dr. Cliff Huxtable, with crossover appeal among blacks and whites, young and old, rich and poor. His TV shows, films and comedy tours earned him an estimated $400 million.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Then a deposition unsealed in 2015 revealed an unsavory private life marked by a long history of sexual liaisons with young women. Dozens came forward to say he had drugged and assaulted them.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017 in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The trial involves just one of those complaints, that of the former Temple University basketball staffer. Andrea Constand, 44, of the Toronto area, will take the stand in suburban Philadelphia this week and tell her story in public for the first time.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. More than a decade after Cosby invited a college basketball manager to his home to discuss her career, the comedian goes on trial in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Holding a wooden cane, Cosby got to the courthouse around 8:40 a.m. Monday, amid a heavy media presence. He chatted amiably with actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his youngest daughter on "The Cosby Show," and they walked together past dozens of cameras and into the courthouse. Cosby smiled but said nothing when someone asked how he was feeling.

FILE - In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on Nov. 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto on Aug. 1, 1987. Cosby goes on trial Monday, June 5, 2017, in suburban Philadelphia in a sexual assault case that will largely rest on the testimony of Constand. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Ron Bull/Toronto Star/The Canadian Press via AP, right) © The Associated Press FILE - In this combination of file photos, entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during an interview in Washington on Nov. 6, 2014, and Andrea Constand poses for a photo in Toronto on Aug. 1, 1987. Cosby goes on trial Monday, June 5, 2017, in suburban Philadelphia in a sexual assault case that will largely rest on the testimony of Constand. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, left, and Ron Bull/Toronto Star/The Canadian Press via AP, right)

Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill hopes to keep the media frenzy from influencing the case as it did at O.J. Simpson's murder trial. The cameras that dominated Simpson's trial aren't allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, but scores of photographers will be lined up outside the courthouse. Like the Simpson case, the jury will be sequestered.

FILE - In this Thursday, May 2, 2002 file photo, members of Bill Cosby's television family, the Huxtables, gather in NBC's Today show studio for an interview with co-host Katie Couric, in New York. From left are Sabrina Le Beauf, Tempest Bledsoe, Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad, Raven Symone and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, May 2, 2002 file photo, members of Bill Cosby's television family, the Huxtables, gather in NBC's Today show studio for an interview with co-host Katie Couric, in New York. From left are Sabrina Le Beauf, Tempest Bledsoe, Cosby, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Phylicia Rashad, Raven Symone and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

"We've had an O.J. hangover for many years," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. "What you worry about as the judge is that the lawyers don't showboat, the evidence gets presented fairly, and that you have a jury that does its job and is not being thrown into the whole milieu of the trial outside the courtroom."

FILE - In this 1974 file photo, comedian Bill Cosby prepares to hit the ball as Australian World Cup team captain and playing partner Fred Stolle watches during an exhibition tennis match in Hartford, Conn. Cosby and Stolle teamed against actor Robert Culp and American World Cup team member Arthur Ashe. (AP Photo/Bob Child) © The Associated Press FILE - In this 1974 file photo, comedian Bill Cosby prepares to hit the ball as Australian World Cup team captain and playing partner Fred Stolle watches during an exhibition tennis match in Hartford, Conn. Cosby and Stolle teamed against actor Robert Culp and American World Cup team member Arthur Ashe. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

Constand filed a police complaint in 2005 over the night a year earlier, when, she says, Cosby drugged and molested her at his estate near Philadelphia. Cosby had beaten back rumors about his conduct before, at least once by giving an exclusive interview to a tabloid to squelch a woman's story.

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 1965 file photo, actor-comedian Bill Cosby, right, and his wife, Camille, arrive at the TV Academy awards in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Camille Cosby released a statement on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in support of her husband. The statement is the first public comment from Cosby's long-time wife since a wave of sexual assault allegations began swirling several weeks earlier. (AP Photo, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 12, 1965 file photo, actor-comedian Bill Cosby, right, and his wife, Camille, arrive at the TV Academy awards in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Camille Cosby released a statement on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 in support of her husband. The statement is the first public comment from Cosby's long-time wife since a wave of sexual assault allegations began swirling several weeks earlier. (AP Photo, File)

Cosby and his agents offered Constand money for school when her mother, Gianna, called to confront him in January 2006.

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, laugh as they tell a story about collecting one of the pieces in the upcoming exhibit, "Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2014 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby, left, and his wife, Camille, laugh as they tell a story about collecting one of the pieces in the upcoming exhibit, "Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

"She said your apology is enough," Cosby later said in a deposition . "There's nothing you can do."

FILE - In this April 1, 1982 file photo, John H. Johnson, publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines, left, and actor Bill Cosby, center, join the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a benefit reception for Operation PUSH in Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 1, 1982 file photo, John H. Johnson, publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines, left, and actor Bill Cosby, center, join the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a benefit reception for Operation PUSH in Chicago, Ill. (AP Photo)

Constand's complaint was referred to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where the district attorney found the case to be too weak to prosecute.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 file photo, Bill Cosby, host of the Playboy Jazz Festival, right, and Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner greet each other at a party to announce the lineup of the upcoming 30th annual festival, at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The festival will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 file photo, Bill Cosby, host of the Playboy Jazz Festival, right, and Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner greet each other at a party to announce the lineup of the upcoming 30th annual festival, at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The festival will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Constand instead sued Cosby for sexual battery. Thirteen women signed on to support her lawsuit, saying Cosby also had molested them. But Cosby avoided a trial — after giving four days of deposition testimony — by negotiating a confidential settlement with Constand in 2006.

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 16, 2006 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby raises his arm to the audience on the campus of University of the District of Columbia in Washington. The panel discussion on issues facing low income Americans is being called a "Call Out with Bill Cosby". (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, May 16, 2006 file photo, entertainer Bill Cosby raises his arm to the audience on the campus of University of the District of Columbia in Washington. The panel discussion on issues facing low income Americans is being called a "Call Out with Bill Cosby". (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

The issue died down until 2014, when comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby out as a rapist, leading dozens of new accusers to come forward. Months later, a federal judge granted an Associated Press motion to unseal parts of his deposition.

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2004 file photo, Bill Cosby addresses a gathering at the 34th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington. Bill Cosby doesn't plan to testify when he goes on trial Monday June 5, 2017 on sexual assault charges, but the rambling, disturbing testimony he gave a decade ago in the accuser's civil suit could prove just as crucial. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2004 file photo, Bill Cosby addresses a gathering at the 34th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington. Bill Cosby doesn't plan to testify when he goes on trial Monday June 5, 2017 on sexual assault charges, but the rambling, disturbing testimony he gave a decade ago in the accuser's civil suit could prove just as crucial. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In one of the more explosive revelations, Cosby said he had gotten quaaludes in the 1970s to give women before sex. The news put a halt to his planned TV comeback and led networks to stop airing Cosby reruns.

Bill Cosby, second from right, arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby, second from right, arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby's lawyers have spent the past 18 months trying to have the criminal case thrown out. They say Cosby testified only after being promised he could never be charged. And they argue the delayed prosecution makes the case impossible to defend, given that witnesses have died, memories have faded and Cosby, they say, is blind.

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Lead defense lawyer Brian McMonagle hopes to call a memory expert to challenge accusations he calls "nothing more than vague recollections."

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) © The Associated Press Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday, June 5, 2017, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

District Attorney Kevin Steele will be allowed to call one other accuser to suggest Cosby's conduct with Constand was part of a "signature" crime pattern. She worked for Cosby's agent at the William Morris Agency and says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1996 at a Los Angeles hotel.

Members of the media gather before Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Cosby goes on trial Monday in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Members of the media gather before Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Monday, June 5, 2017. Cosby goes on trial Monday in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cosby and his family, ahead of the trial, have suggested the charges are fueled by racism. Some of his accusers, including the former William Morris employee, are black.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

___

For more on Cosby, including trial updates, historical photos, videos and an audio series exploring the case, visit: www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon