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Bill Cosby Retrial: Comedian Paid Nearly $3.4 Million Settlement to Accuser, Prosecutors Say

Prosecution makes its opening statements after topless protest and a request for a juror removal

Bill Cosby paid $3.38 million to his accuser Andrea Constand in a 2006 settlement of a civil lawsuit she brought against him, the prosecution said Monday during opening arguments of Cosby’s retrial for three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

During opening arguments, the prosecution repeatedly said that statements made by both Cosby and Constand don’t differ significantly, citing Cosby’s deposition from the settled lawsuit. Prosecutors told jurors that they would hear about Cosby’s phone conversation with Constand’s mother Gianna in which, prosecution said, Cosby admitted to penetrating her daughter “digitally” and apologized to her, answering “no” when asked if he had ever previously known Constand to be untruthful.

As the prosecution closed their opening statements, they stressed that the jury will “understand” when they see Andrea Constand called as a witness.

The opening statements were delayed until late afternoon Monday due to a motion from the defense to have a juror removed for allegedly stating a bias that they believed Cosby was guilty in front of other potential jurors. Though it seemed likely she would be removed, Judge Steven T. O’Neill questioned the woman in his chambers along with the 11 other jurors and six alternates selected, and opted to allow her to remain in the trial.

There was also an incident early in the day when a topless female protester was arrested for as the pretrial was about to begin. The protester, Nicole Rochelle, was identified by the Associated Press as an actress who appeared on “The Cosby Show.”

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defense’s opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday morning.