After claiming victory by default in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial, the comedian's attorney is arguing that his client — whom at least 60 women have accused of molestation, rape and harassment — is the real victim.
Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial on Saturday after a 12-person jury failed to come to a unanimous conclusion following a deliberation of more than 50 hours. In an interview on CNN Sunday, Cosby lawyer Brian McMonagle said it was "unfair" to make Cosby endure such lengthy proceedings for an incident that allegedly occurred over a decade ago, especially when the blind 79-year-old is in less-than-peak physical condition.
"I have been greatly concerned for his health, I don't know if I can survive what he survived this week," McMonagle told CNN's Jean Casarez. "It was difficult for me, and I have no idea how he managed to sit in a room and endure while strangers were deciding his destiny and his fate."
"Imagine it's you being asked to defend age-old accusations — how do you defend that?" he said, adding: "Waiting so long, when people have died. Witnesses are gone. We kept running into walls trying to investigate the accusations because there's nothing left."
It took years for the dozens of allegations levied against Cosby to surface. Andrea Constand's was the only one for which the statute of limitations had not elapsed in 2016, when prosecutors charged the comedian with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Constand accused Cosby of drugging and molesting her at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. At trial, she testified that the man formerly known as America's Dad — and formerly viewed by Constand as a mentor — gave her three blue pills he promised would calm her nerves. Instead, they left her feeling "frozen," unable to fight off Cosby as he groped her breasts and genitals and forced her to stroke his penis.
Constand reported the alleged assault to Canadian authorities in 2005, requiring her and Cosby to give depositions before settling the case for an undisclosed sum in 2006. Cosby declined to take the stand at his trial, leaving prosecutors to rely heavily on the damning words he'd offered police over a decade ago.
In his closing arguments, McMonagle hammered on the discrepancies between the version of events Constand offered in 2005 and her testimony in 2017. With theatrical flair, he argued that Constand was Cosby's "lover," that her allegations amounted to a "stone-cold lie" and that the high-profile case came down to fame-hungry women conspiring to take down a powerful man, creating a media frenzy that escalated with their "drumbeat."
Speaking with CNN, McMonagle also pledged his readiness "to go to back and do battle for him again," should Cosby desire his services. O'Neill is expected to decide on a new trial date within the next 120 days.