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Cosby accuser after his release: ‘It was worth it’

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

Andrea Constand, the woman whose accusations led to Bill Cosby’s indecent assault conviction, said Tuesday she was “really shocked” and “disappointed” when she heard the news of the disgraced comedian’s release, but that her journey has ultimately been “worth it.”

Asked what it says about the American justice system, Constand told NBC News’ Kate Snow, “It’s flawed.”

Speaking for the first time since the comedian’s overturned conviction and release from prison in June, Constand said she felt the support of other survivors.

“I’ve come way too far to go back to that place, to wonder whether it’s all worth it or to have regrets,” Constand explained. “It was worth it. 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.”

“Bill Cosby walks free, but it doesn’t change the fact that my testimony was believed,” Constand added.

Conviction overturned

A panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges said in their opinion a former Montgomery County district attorney’s decision to not prosecute Cosby in 2005 in return for his deposition in a civil case was ultimately used against him at trial.

“How can a district attorney enforce a decision on a backroom handshake?” Constand asked. “How can you give any credibility to that?”

After his release, Cosby tweeted his “thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.” He added, “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.”

Constand called Cosby’s celebration after his release “disgusting,” adding it “didn’t surprise me, given 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.”

Cosby’s representatives declined to comment on the Constand interview.

She was asked about the immediate reaction to Cosby’s release from his co-star on “The Cosby Show,” Phylicia Rashad, who said at the time “a miscarriage of justice is corrected.”

“It’s disappointing to hear somebody who is in such a powerful position herself not to support survivors,” Constand said.

Rashad later apologized, saying, “I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth.”

“Good. I’m really happy to hear that,” Constand said, reacting to the tweet read by the anchor.

Asked whether she would ever agree to speak to Rashad if the actress wanted to learn more about her, Constand offered, “Sure, yeah, why not?”

Telling her story

Constand discussed her new book, titled, “The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women.”

“I had a story to tell, but also, it was what was going to bring me true healing.”

Asked how she would feel if he began performances again, Constand said, “I don’t really care, but anybody that gives him a platform to speak, to joke; rape is not a joke.”

Her message to survivors: “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 runs a non-profit called Hope Healing and Transformation to assist survivors with a holistic healing program as well as legal assistance.

“I will fight. I will be a voice for the change that is needed, whatever country, state, wherever I am needed. I will be in service there to fight,” Constand said.

More of her interview is scheduled to air on “NBC Nightly News” Tuesday. Snow said it involve discussion of Cosby’s wife, Camille.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Steve Forrest contributed to this report.

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