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On Wednesday night at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial, Judge Steven O’Neill read back “graphic testimony” for more than an hour-and-a-half—and Cosby’s lead defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau, was asleep for an “estimated 30 minutes” of it, according to Page Six.
Although Mesereau dozed off in his chair with his mouth “hanging open,” no one in the courtroom said anything about his half-hour nap and he woke up while the testimony “was still being read,” Page Six reports.
Cosby sat near to Mesereau at the defense table for the “often explicit” testimony, occasionally smiling and mostly rubbing his eyes and face.
The testimony contained “disturbing details” about Cosby’s sexual contact with Andrea Constand, a former manager of the Temple University’s women’s basketball team who said Cosby drugged and assaulted her at his home in 2004.
Cosby’s first trial failed to reach a verdict in June 2017, when District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a news conference that “he did not know what kept the jury from reaching a unanimous verdict.”
Mesereau was hired later that summer for Cosby’s legal team but expressed interest in representing the comedian as early as 2015, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Mesereau had “successfully defended” Michael Jackson against child molestation charges in 2005 and said Cosby reminded him of Jackson.
At the time he was hired, Mesereau told TMZ the retrial over Andrea Constand’s allegations were “a waste of time.”
“I think it’s a weak case, and they should have known that,” Mesereau said in a TMZ video. “I don’t think they should retry it. They should let him live his life and drop the whole thing.”
Cosby has been accused by more than 50 women of sexual assault. After the verdict, district attorney Kevin Steele called Constand “the most important person” in the case and that the verdict demonstrates “who the real Bill Cosby was.”
Grace Speas is a news reporter, covering streaming entertainment, internet culture, and viral politics.