Andrea Constand Says She Doesn't Regret Accusing Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault After His Release
By Paige Gawley
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Andrea Constand is speaking out against Bill Cosby's release from prison. Constand appeared in a new NBC News interview, which aired in part on Tuesday's episode of the Todayshow. The interview marked her first televised interview since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby's conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting her this past June.
"I was really shocked. I was really shocked. Disappointed," Constand told Kate Snow of the court's decision and Cosby's release, before calling the justice department as a whole "flawed."
Cosby's release came after the court found that an agreement he had with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case, according to documents obtained by ET. Cosby previously said that he relied on that agreement before agreeing to testify in his accuser's civil lawsuit.
The court also ruled that Cosby's case cannot be prosecuted again, writing, "He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred."
"How can a district attorney enforce a decision on a backroom handshake? How can he give any credibility to that?" Constand questioned. "... He's a sexually violent predator who basically was let out of jail."
"Bill Cosby walks free, but it doesn't change the fact that my testimony was believed," she added of the procedural reason for the overturned conviction. "I had a story to tell, but also, it was what was going to bring me true healing."
Cosby, who has maintained that his encounter with Constand was consensual, celebrated his release and said he was "imprisoned wrongfully." Constand called Cosby's comments "disgusting."
"Didn't surprise me, given the level of the arrogance and having no remorse," she said. "During the time [he was] incarcerated, [he had] absolutely zero remorse for what he did to me."
Despite her disappointment about Cosby's release, Constand said that she does not regret coming forward.
"I've come way too far to go back to that place to wonder whether it was all worth it or to have regrets," she said. "It was worth it. But it was worth it because I didn't feel alone. I had a whole community, a whole army, of women and other survivors, families, friends that were right there with me."
Above all, Cosntand said, she hopes other survivors will continue to come forward.
"As I sit here today, I want to send a message to not let this deter you from coming forward, from getting the peace and the healing and the closure that you need," she said. "I will fight. I will be a voice for the change that is needed. Whatever country, state, wherever I'm needed, I will be in service there to fight."
“Bill Cosby walks free. But it doesn't change the fact that my testimony was believed.”
Immediately following Cosby's release, Constand released a joint statement with attorneys Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz, noting that the court's decision was "not only disappointing but of concern in the that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filming either a criminal or civil action."
Around the same time, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said that Cosby was being released "on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime," before praising Constand.
"I want to commend Cosby’s victim Andrea Constand for her bravery in coming forward and remaining steadfast throughout this long ordeal, as well as all of the other women who have shared similar experiences," he said in part.
Cosby was initially charged in the case in 2015. He was acquitted during his first trial in 2017. The next year, during Cosby's retrial, he was convicted of all three felony sex-assault counts.
Prior to his conviction being overturned, Cosby had served more than two years of his three to 10 year prison sentence. He was denied parole in May.