A woman who alleges Bill Cosby’s principal accuser plotted to frame the entertainer with a false sexual assault claim “to get that money” took the witness stand on Wednesday.
Margo Jackson, considered the defense team’s star witness who was blocked from testifying during Cosby’s first trial, told the court that in February 2004, a month after Cosby allegedly drugged and attacked Andrea Constand, the two shared a hotel room in Rhode Island, where the Temple women’s basketball team had an away game.
That night both of the women were watching a television news report about a celebrity facing a sexual assault allegation. Jackson testified that Constand said something similar had happened to her.
Jackson says she asked Constand if she had reported it. Constand had not, saying she could not prove it and it involved a high-profile person, Jackson said.
When Jackson said she pushed Constand to see if she had really been assaulted by a celebrity, Jackson said Constand backed down.
“No, but I can say it did. I can file a civil lawsuit, get that money. I could quit my job, go back to school and start a business,” said Jackson, recalling what she remembers of what Constand told her.
On Monday, Constand told the jury that she did not remember having such an exchange with Jackson.
In 2005, Constand filed a civil lawsuit against Cosby for the alleged drugging and assault the occurred at Cosby’s Cheltenham mansion. The suit resulted in a nearly $3.4 million payout to Constand.
The defense claims the money, coupled with Jackson’s testimony, is proof that Constand always had her eye on a get-rich scheme.
Prosecutors, however, point out that Constand first reported Cosby’s alleged assault to police. And that she only filed a civil settlement following a decision to not file criminal charges against the comic legend.
On cross examination, Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney M. Stewart Ryan questioned the accuracy of Jackson’s memory recall and suggested the Cosby’s defense team helped her devise statements that made Constand appear unreliable.
“During the conversation you claimed you had with Ms. Constand,” Ryan asked, “did she tell you as part of this master plan that the celebrity she was accusing would invite her over to his house?”
Prosecutors on Wednesday wound down their case, and they plan to call one more witness, a toxicology expert, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Cosby’s defense has been calling witnesses to the stand to help bolster their counter-argument to the three counts of indecent sexual assault Cosby faces.
Before Jackson, another former Temple colleague of Constand and Jackson’s testified that she remembered the two women interacting regularly while at the school.