Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand broke her silence Tuesday, discussing the comedian’s release from prison in her first television interview since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his assault conviction in June.
“I was really shocked,” she told senior national correspondent Kate Snow in an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show. “Disappointed.”
During the interview, Constand shared her thoughts on Phylicia Rashad’s tweet celebrating Cosby’s release and talked about her new book, “The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women,” which was released Tuesday.
Constand recalled watching the freed Cosby, with his fist raised, shortly after his release.
“Disgusting,” she said. “Didn’t surprise me, given the the level of the arrogance and having no remorse. During the time he was incarcerated, absolutely zero remorse for what he did to me.
“He’s a sexually violent predator who basically was let out of jail.”
It was Constand’s allegations of sexual assault that led to the conviction of Cosby on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018. His prosecution was one of the first major milestones of the #MeToo movement, as women came forward with tales of unwanted sexual advances and harassment in the workplace. A total of 60 women have accused Cosby, 84, of various offenses, including groping, sexual assault and rape as far back as the 1960s — all of which he has repeatedly denied over the years.
Cosby was serving a three- to 10-year sentence when he was freed. The court found that he was denied protection against self-incrimination.
“I have come way too far to go back to that place to wonder whether it’s all worth it or to have regrets,” she said. “But it was worth it, because I didn’t feel alone. I had a whole community, a whole army of women and other survivors, strangers, family, friends, who were right there with me.”
There were moments, however, that disappointed Constand, including when Rashad, Cosby’s former co-star on “The Cosby Show,” tweeted that “a terrible wrong is being righted- a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”
“It’s disappointing to hear somebody who is in such a powerful position herself not to support survivors,” she said.
After growing backlash from students at Howard University, where she is a dean, Rashad apologized to them, writing in a letter that her remarks were not directed toward sexual assault survivors and that she vehemently opposes sexual violence.
“I’m really happy to hear that,” Constand said. “That’s the statement that needed to be said.”
She said she wrote her book, in part, to ensure her memories wouldn’t “be lost to time.”
“I had a story to tell, and part of telling that story was finding my voice,” she said. “But also, it was what was going to bring me true healing.”
Moving forward, Constand said she is more concerned about the impact of the court’s decision on other survivors of sexual misconduct and assault.
“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.
Along with her new memoir, Constand is running a foundation called Hope Healing and Transformation, which provides a holistic healing program for survivors.
“I will fight. I will be a voice for the change that is needed,” she said. “Wherever I’m needed, I will be in service there to fight.”