The defense, on the other hand, painted the accusers of Mr. Cosby as greedy and hungry for fame. Her cross-examination felt like a chain of humiliations on most days. When Janice Dickinson took a rude and funny stance, the defense questioned the paternity of her children. When Janice Baker-Kinney spoke, she was anxious to remember the exact date she had come to terms with her alcoholism. Ms. Constand's civil suit, the $ 3.38 million she received from Cosby in 2005, was portrayed as proof of her unyielding greed.
One day, after a particularly discouraging cross-examination by Kathleen Bliss, I went to lunch with Gloria Allred. The fiery lawyer represents 33 of Cosby's prosecutors. Mrs. Allred is petite, blond with auburn hair, and I found her striking in her knit suit, which was equipped with a writing pad and pencil. "That's the way it has always been," she said about the style of cross-examination, which felt like a commitment to demoralize the victims. She was not worried. "It's not over, not by far," she said. "Bill Cosby will spend the rest of his life either in court or in jail for what he did to these women."
Because Andrea Constand was never the only one. The allegations of abuse against Bill Cosby spanned over five decades, from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Mr. Cosby was accused of having committed sexual assault on women during most of his life. Most prosecutors of Mr. Cosby could no longer bring charges because the limitation period had expired.
But for this retrial, additional women were allowed to testify against Mr. Cosby – an unusual victory for the prosecution – to prove a story of "former bad deeds." Ms. Constand, Janice Baker-Kinney Janice Dickinson, Lise-Lotte Lublin, Chelan Lasha, and Heidi Thomas were women's representatives who said Mr. Cosby had sexually assaulted her. Her stories were further strengthened by a 2005 deposition published in 2015, in which Mr Cosby had admitted giving Ms. Constand pills and acquiring Quaaludes. Cosby is an anomaly in the movement #MeToo, now that he is being convicted for his actions. Some famous men – Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Bill O & # 39; Reilly among them – have lost their jobs. They have suffered professional consequences – or, as it seems, some setbacks to their actions.
Mr. Cosby's conviction is that legal consequences could become a real possibility or even a cultural norm – not just a fleeting, surprising victory. There is a dark poetics to the fact that Mr. Cosby's own moralizing was partly responsible for his prosecution. His proselytizing, the contempt he had directed against black workers of the working class, unmarried mothers and their criminal sons, had made his own moral fiber a public affair.