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From Superstar To Cellmate: How Bill Cosby Wound Up A Jailbird

Bill Cosby wears a dark suit, white shirt, and patterned tie.

Mar. 25 2020, Updated 2:35 p.m. ET

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Bill Cosby had faced allegations of sexual abuse for years, and every possible victim has told a similar story. In total, more than 50 women have publicly accused Cosby of assaulting or raping them over a period of 40 years. Women claimed Cosby would drug them before molesting them. Is it true that America’s favorite dad and comedy icon was truly capable of carrying out these heinous crimes?

MORE: ‘I Was Bill Cosby’s Teen Sex Victim,’ Former Playboy Playmate Claims

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In 2018, Cosby was convicted of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand back in 2004. She had been a basketball coach at Cosby’s alma mater, and this was the second trial (the first had ended in a hung jury and mistrial). Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy model who claims Cosby raped her in 1969 said, “To see him led out in handcuffs or shackles would be quite a triumph, I think, for all of us.”

MORE: Jailbird Bill Cosby Caught In Love Child DNA Scandal

So what happened? Take a look at the timeline of events that surrounded the Bill Cosby case as he moved from fame to infamy.

1. The First Accusation.

Andrea Constand looks on at the trial.
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Andrea Constand blew up the headlines in 2005 with her claims that Cosby drugged and fondled her the previous earlier. But one month later, authorities had announced that they would not charge Cosby based on insufficient evidence.

2. The First Civil Case.

Andrea Constand wears a tan jacket and blue shirt.
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Constand took her case to civil court where she won a settlement of $3.38 million from Cosby. The case was then dismissed in November 2006.

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3. The Second Accusation.

Bill Cosby looks perturbed.
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It wasn’t until 2014 that the ball began rolling again. According to the BBC, Barbara Bowman claimed that Cosby assaulted her multiple times but Cosby’s lawyer, John Schmitt, said her allegations were “decades old” and “discredited.”

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4. The Floodgates Open.

The women accusing Cosby pose for a photograph.
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Three days after Bowman stepped forward, she was followed by journalist and publicist Joan Tarshis who claimed Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was still just a teenager, 45 years earlier.

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5. Supermodel Rage.

Janice Dickinson stands at a podium in a black dress.
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The next day, these women were both joined by supermodel Janice Dickinson who told Entertainment Tonight that Cosby had raped her. Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, said it was a lie.

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6. The Kickback Begins.

Bill Cosby stands on a stage in a black top.
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According to CNN, within a couple of weeks of these accusations Cosby’s alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, ended their relationship with him stating, “Bill Cosby has agreed to resign as an honorary co-chair of UMass Amherst's capital campaign. He no longer has any affiliation with the campaign nor does he serve in any other capacity for the university." The next month, Cosby left his position on Temple University's board of trustees, where he’d been for over 30 years.

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7. More Alleged Victims.

Bill Cosby wears a dark suit, white shirt, and patterned tie.
Source: Shutterstock

2014 ended with two more lawsuits filed against Cosby. The first was by Judy Huth who claimed he had sexually assaulted her in 1974 when she was a teen. A trial is slated to begin in October, 2019. According to CNN, the second to accuse him was Tamara Green who also claimed Cosby sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. By the end of 2015, six more accusers had joined the case - the results of which are covered later in the gallery.

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8. Drugs.

Bill Cosby wears a Navy sweater.
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Documents from the civil case Constand had brought were unsealed showing Cosby had indeed obtained prescription Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with. By this time, the Navy had revoked Cosby’s title of Honorary Chief Petty Officer.

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9. Defamation Suits.

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Beverly Johnson poses on the red carpet in a blue dress.
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Each time Cosby called a victim a liar he set himself up for potential defamation lawsuits. Seven women, including Dickinson, sued him for defamation. Cosby countersued saying he was the one being defamed. Cosby ended 2015 suing supermodel Beverly Johnson for defamation after she accused him of attempted rape.

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10. The Constand Case.

Andrea Constand wears a white jacket and blue shirt.
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In December of 2015, Cosby was charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault against Constand in Pennsylvania.

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11. Dismissals.

Bill Cosby wears a black suit, white shirt, and patterned tie.
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Some of the claims against Cosby were dropped. Los Angeles announced it would not pursue two cases for fear that the crimes could not be tried successfully due to the statute of limitations. Cosby dismissed the defamation lawsuit he had brought against Beverly Johnson.

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12. Mistrial.

Bill Cosby wears a dark suit and is flanked by police.
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In June of 2017, a case against Cosby for aggravated indecent assault ended in a mistrial after a jury could not agree on a decision. A retrial was immediately announced by prosecutors.

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13. The Retrial Moves Forward.

A protestor stands with her placards outside the courthouse.
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In March of 2018, a judge said only five women out of 19 accusers would be allowed to testify during Cosby’s retrial for allegedly assaulting Constand. This was still four more alleged victims than were allowed to testify during the first trial.

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14. Sentencing.

Bill Cosby, in a white shirt, is led into a car by police.
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On April 26, Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand in 2004. On September 25th he was sentenced to 3-10 years in state prison and escorted out in cuffs. Cosby later claimed he was a victim of the #MeToo movement.

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15. Cellmate NN7687.

A close up of Bill Cosby.
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Cosby had played many roles in his life, and Fat Albert, Dr. Huxtable are just two. His latest role became that of cellmate NN7687.

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16. Another Settlement.

Six women stand on the court steps and smile.
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In April of 2019, a settlement was reached in the defamation suit against Cosby brought by seven women who accused him of sexual misconduct. A spokesman for Cosby said the settlement was worked out between the plaintiffs and AIG — the insurance company — and that Cosby was not involved in the amount.

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17. Cosby Appeals

Bill Cosby, in a tshirt and suspenders, holds his shirt in his hands.
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In June of 2019, Cosby — who had just turned 82 — filed an appeal of his criminal conviction saying that his trial should not stand due to the testimony of the five accusers being “strikingly dissimilar” to Constand’s case.

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18. A Win For Dickinson.

Janice Dickinson walks down the street.
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July 25, 2019 - Dickinson's attorney announces that they have reached a "very large settlement" with Cosby's insurance company in Dickinson's defamation case. Cosby's spokesman says the insurance company settled the lawsuit despite Cosby's objections.

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