Jurors in Bill Cosby’s retrial will hear testimony that could seriously damage the credibility of his accuser and lead to the entertainer’s victory.
Judge Steven O’Neill, who also presided over Cosby’s first sexual assault trial, ruled on Tuesday that Marguerite Jackson, a former co-worker of the actor’s accuser, could testify as a defense witness in the retrial that’s underway, ABC News reported.
The fallen star, once nicknamed “America’s dad,” stands accused by Andrea Constand of drugging and sexually molesting her in 2004 at his suburban Philadelphia home. Cosby maintains that the encounter was consensual.
During the original trial, O’Neill blocked Jackson’s testimony partly because Constand denied knowing Jackson. Constand, however, now admits that she recalls her former Temple University coworker.
Jackson is expect to testify that Constand once commented to her about setting up a “high-profile person” and cashing in after filing a lawsuit, according to the news outlet.
Jackson was an academic counselor for Temple’s women’s basketball team when Constand was the team’s operations manager, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The two women worked together at least a year before Conastand accused Cosby in 2005 of sexual assault.
At the first trial, Jackson gave Cosby’s legal team a signed affidavit about a conversation she had with Constand during a team road trip to Rhode Island. Jackson alleged that they were together when a television news report told the story of a suspect accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women. Constand stated that a “high-profile” person did “something similar” to her. Jackson told her that she should have reported it.
“Her response was that it had not happened but she could say it happened and file charges, file a civil suit, get the money, go to school, and open up a business,” Jackson said.
O’Neill also ruled on Tuesday that the jurors can hear how much money Cosby paid Constand to settle her 2006 civil lawsuit.