Celebrity lawyer Tom Mesereau opened his argument in Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual assault charges on Tuesday by casting alleged victim Andrea Constand as the villain who targeted his client for the sake of money.
All For The Money
Mesereau tried to undermine Constand's credibility in his opening statement. He accused her of being a "con artist" with money problems who framed Cosby for financial gains. The attorney told jurors that she framed the actor because she was after his money. He made the point repeatedly as he sought to cast Constant as the perpetrator and Cosby the victim.
"You are going to be asking yourself during this trial. 'What does she want from Bill Cosby?' And you already know the answer: Money, money and lots more money," Mesereau told the Montgomery County Court jury in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Mesereau stressed that Constand had a history of financial problems, but she hit the jackpot with Cosby. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele revealed a day prior to the retrial that she received a $3.38 million settlement in a 2006 civil suit against Cosby from charges that he allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in 2004.
Mesereau, the lawyer who got Michael Jackson acquitted on child-molestation charges in 2005, added that Constant charmed her way into Cosby's pocket. Part of her ploy was to use bogus affection and pretend to be madly in love with the actor. The attorney mentioned that a colleague of Constand's named Marguerite "Margo" Jackson can and will attest to the latter being a con artist.
The attorney told the jury that Constand confided on Jackson about the alleged sexual assault but backed down on her claims when challenged. Instead, she admitted that she had not been assaulted but came up with a plan to say otherwise for the sake of money.
"She told a Temple University colleague that she could make up allegations against a celebrity and file a civil suit," Mesereau further told jurors during the retrial.
"I can say I was and get a lot of money and set up my education and my business," Constand allegedly told Jackson.
Cosby has since admitted to having an extramarital affair with Constand, a former director of operations for the women's basketball team at the actor's alma mater, Temple University. However, he denied having drugged and sexually assaulted her.