Bill Cosby‘s trial started on Monday, and it began about as dramatically as it could have.
Cosby is accused of drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004, but before her testimony, prosecutors clearly intend on showing the TV star’s pattern of victimizing women.
First were fiery opening statements in which Montgomery County Assistant D.A. Kristen Feden told the seven men and five women of the jury the case was about “a man who used his power and his fame and his previously practiced method of placing a young, trusting woman in an incapacitated state” and defense attorney Brian McMonagle accusing the prosecution of twisting a consensual affair.
The the first witness took the stand, and things got more intense.
Kelly Johnson, who previously had been referred to as “Prior Alleged Victim Six” or by the alias “Kasey,” told her story of being taken advantage of by Cosby nearly a decade before Constand, and in a very similar way.
Kelly was the assistant to Cosby’s now-deceased agent Tom Illius; she told the jury she and her boss’s “most important client” had become friendly starting in 1990 as he was always complimenting her and telling her she should be an actress.
Once he even asked her to act out a scene with him in which she played a woman who was drunk and ended up kissing him; after she did everything but the kiss, she said, Cosby got upset and she didn’t see him again until 1996.
Johnson testified that Cosby invited her for lunch to his room at the Hotel Bel-Air, where he greeted her in a robe and slippers.
She said he told her:
“You look like you need to relax.”
Then produced a little white pill.
Johnson tearfully explained how she was too “intimidated” to simply tell him no; instead, she tried to fake swallow the pill, so she could spit it out in the restroom, but that Cosby made her prove her mouth was empty, forcing her to swallow it for real.
Johnson said the unidentified pill made her feel “underwater.”
After excusing herself to go to the restroom, Kelly said her vision went fuzzy and she lost consciousness. She then testified she woke up in the bed with her dress pulled up and her breasts exposed; she said Cosby was behind her making “grunting sounds.”
A few months later, Johnson says she was fired from the agency.
Cosby’s defense attorney reportedly grilled Johnson, painting her relationship with Cosby as a romantic affair that ended badly.
Unfortunately, we won’t get to hear the comedian’s response to this story. Cosby, who showed up to the court smiling with TV daughter Keshia Knight Pulliam on his arm, has said he will not take the stand.
Constand herself is expected to testify on Tuesday.
[Image via Carrie Devorah/WENN.]