Andrea Constand's memoir The Moment tells her story of standing up to Bill Cosby and speaking up for women
The Moment will be published on Sept. 7, 2021
Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting and drugging Canadian Andrea Constand in 2018. Now Constand is sharing her story in a memoir.
In The Moment, Constand opens up about the emotional and spiritual work she did to recover from the assault and the psychological regimen she developed to strengthen herself for the courtroom.
"I did not want to lose any memories to time, and believe that reflection is a necessary final step toward true healing," she said in an interview with the book's publisher, Viking.
The Moment is a memoir about the moment a life changes, as hers did when she was raped. It's also about the moment, nearly a decade later, when she stood up for victims without a voice — later putting herself through an arduous criminal trial — and about the larger cultural moment taking place around the time of the 2018 trial, signified by the #MeToo movement.
More than 60 women recounted how they had been drugged, raped and assaulted at Cosby's hands over the decades — but only Constand's story led to criminal charges and Cosby's conviction.
"I wanted to share my story, hoping it would inspire others who face challenging circumstances to find the courage to overcome obstacles they may be facing," Constand said.
"After the trials, I began to understand just how much damage had been done to my family and me, even after obtaining justice in my case."
Constand is now a registered massage therapist in Toronto. The New York Times called her "the linchpin of the Bill Cosby case." She has been the director of operations for Temple University's women's basketball program, a sports marketing specialist for Nike, and a professional basketball player in Europe.
Constand's decade-long legal marathon required her to endure a civil suit, and two criminal trials.
She first went to police in 2005, a year after the assault. Montgomery County prosecutors initially declined to charge Cosby, saying there was not enough evidence. Constand then brought a civil suit against Cosby in 2006, which was settled for an undisclosed sum. The final criminal trial was in 2018, when Cosby was found guilty and sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.
Through this memoir, Constand said she hopes the readers can find inspiration and courage within themselves to rise above challenges to find hope and healing.
"I also hope that they are able to understand how profoundly sexual assault changes a person's life. By sharing stories we can begin to help those whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence."
The Moment will be published on Sept. 7, 2021. You can read an excerpt below.
This excerpt mentions rape and sexual assault.
I was perched on the corner of my bed, in my parent's cozy cottage-style house in Pickering, Ont., as a chilly mid-February day faded outside. This place had been my refuge for almost a year now — ever since I'd returned from Philadelphia and many years far from home. I was holding my cellphone to my ear, listening carefully. I knew this conversation was coming, but there was part of me that wasn't quite ready to have it.
A few hours earlier, I had been out running errands with my sister when my mother phoned. "Dolores is going to give you a call," she said. This was Dolores Troiani — she and Bebe Kivitz were my lawyers. Diana and I cut short our trip so I could be in the house when the call came.
When we pulled into our quiet street, I knew that whatever my lawyers were going to tell me was big news. The road in front of our house was lined with vans and cars emblazoned with the logos of TV stations and newspapers. Reporters had been harassing my parents and me for weeks now. They called our home phone non-stop; they turned up on our doorstep at all times of the day and night. Sometimes they showed up en masse, like troops camped right outside our front door. That was the scene this day. Clearly something major had just happened.
Diana and I hadn't been in the house long before my cell rang.
"Andrea" — Dolores's tone was kind but measured and matter-of-fact — "we're sorry to tell you this, but the DA isn't going to move forward with the case. There won't be any charges."
I wasn't surprised. Not really.
My lawyers and I had sensed that the case we were attempting to pursue wasn't looking good. It was yet another sharp blow in what had already been, without a doubt, the most difficult year of my life.
A little more than 12 months earlier, everything had been different. I was a happy, confident 30-year-old with a great job as the director of operations for the women's basketball team at Temple University in Philadelphia. My work at Temple was a natural fit. Sports had always been my passion. I was an active child, and athletics had helped me channel my considerable energy and have fun at the same time. By high school, I was a star basketball player, and in my final year, I was lucky enough to see dozens of university scholarships flood in. In the end, I headed to the University of Arizona to play college ball. It turned out to be a wonderful choice, not just because I enjoyed the team and the school so much, but also because my paternal grandparents decided to retire to Tucson when they learned that I was a bit homesick. I saw them almost every day and was delighted to have my family close by once more.
At the end of my time at university, I had hoped for a spot on the fledgling WNBA roster, but when that didn't materialize, I wasn't disappointed for long. After a wonderful year spent teaching basketball skills to middle-school children in North Hollywood, California, I made the Canadian team for the 1997 World University Games in Italy. While there, I was recruited by Sicily's professional women's basketball team, and I played for two seasons before returning to Canada. I worked for Nike in Toronto for a short while before taking the Temple position, then spent almost three years in Philly. But in early 2004, I was ready to shift my path again. I was planning to move back to Canada to rejoin my large extended family and my old friends, and to pursue a career in the healing arts, as both my mother and my father had done.
I had a good future before me. I knew who I was and I liked who I was. I was at the top of my game, certain that the groundwork laid by my education and my athletic training had prepared me for whatever challenges were ahead.
But I was wrong. Very wrong.
Nothing could have prepared me for an early January evening spent at the home of a man I considered a friend.
That was the night that Bill Cosby raped me.
Excerpted from The Moment. Copyright © 2021 by Andrea Constand. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.