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Andrea Constand: Why I forgive Bill Cosby for sexually assaulting me

Raechal Leone Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

After she was sexually assaulted by TV icon Bill Cosby, Andrea Constand could very easily have stayed enraged. It would have been understandable.

Instead, Constand went in another direction.

“I forgave Bill Cosby for what he did to me,” she said on Friday’s episode of Dateline. “It’s been many, many years. And if I did not forgive him, I wouldn’t have peace. And I sit here today and I have my peace.”

Constand’s sit-down with NBC’s Kate Snow marks the first time that she’s told her story in person to the public. She testified at both of Cosby’s trials, the one that ended with a hung jury in 2017 and the second in May 2018, which resulted in a jury finding Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. (Cosby plans to appeal.) However, no cameras were allowed in either courtroom.

Constand was working as a basketball coach at Temple University when she met the star of The Cosby Show, who was an alumnus of the college. She rejected his advances more than once, but really came to think of him as a mentor, she said. One night in 2004, Constand went to Cosby’s home near Philadelphia, where she discussed possibly leaving Temple. Cosby offered her three blue pills to help her relax.

After that, Constand said, she was seeing double and slurring her words. She went in and out of consciousness. But she remembers some things.

“I remember feeling something penetrating my vagina very forcefully. And I remember my breast being groped, a hand being up my shirt,” she said.

She recalled that Cosby grabbed her hand and used it to masturbate.

“My mind is saying, ‘Move your hands. Kick. Can you do anything?’” Constand said. “‘I don’t want this. Why is this person doing this?’ And me not being able to react in any specific way. So I was limp. I was a limp noodle.”

Constand tried to do something, she remembered.

“I was crying out inside, in my throat, in my mind, for this to stop,” she said. “And I couldn’t do anything.”

Cosby has dozens of accusers, but Constand’s case is the first for which he’s been tried. In many other accusers’ cases, the statute of limitations has expired.

“He needs help and he needs to repent for what he did, not only to me but for a lot of women,” Constand said. “He’s a convicted sex assaulter, but I forgive him for what he did to me.”

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