Bill Cosby gave sexual assault accuser Andrea Constand $3.5 million to be quiet in 2006, Page Six reports.
The actual amount of the payout has never been revealed publicly.
The news arrives as the 80-year-old comedian is facing an April retrial for three counts of aggravated sexual assault of Constand, where each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
During his trial last year, where jurors were unable to reach a verdict, the funnyman's defense team's plan was to just deny assault ever occurred. Now, however, Cosby wants jurors to think that Constand, who alleges that he assaulted her in January 2004 at his home in Pennsylvania, only wanted the money.
Constand settled after the former Montgomery County District Attorney, Bruce Castor, decided not to bring charges in 2006, citing that problems with evidence and Constand's credibility were a factor in his decision. Apparently, Castor instead advised Constand to seek "civil remedies."
However, when the DA's successor, Kevin R. Steele, came into office in 2016, he was in no way tied to his predecessor's decision or the civil settlement. Steele, who believed that Cosby drugged and assaulted Constand, also thinks that the actor has a pattern of such wrongdoings, and thus has decided to bring new criminal charges against him.
"That man," Steele said while pointing to the comedian in court, "is a serial abuser. He selects his victims, he gives them an intoxicant and he assaults them."
Constand, 44, who is a former professional basketball player in Europe, testified prior that she believed Cosby to be a mentor. However, during a visit to his house, she claims he gave her three blue pills and said for her to drink some wine. "My vision became blurry and I could hardly speak," she said. "I became frozen and paralyzed, and he was touching my breasts and put his hands down my pants." She also detailed how Cosby penetrated her with his fingers before placing her hand on his genitals.
Cosby maintains that their relationship was consensual, and that it only went bad when he didn't get her a job as a sportscaster for the 2004 Olympics.
To date, more than 50 women have come forward to allege that Cosby gave them drugs and sexually assaulted them. Cosby, who is married, denies these claims.
The "Cosby Show" star's longtime rep, Andrew Wyatt, told Page Six that they want the civil suit included in the new trial. Judge Steven O'Neill is expected to rule this week as to whether the Constand settlement of $3.5 million can in fact be admitted when proceedings start on April 2.
At the finish of the first criminal trial last summer, Cosby replaced his attorney with Tom Mesereau, who is best known for successfully defending pop star Michael Jackson against child-molestation charges back in 2005. Mesereau used similar civil settlements made in that case against those accusers.
Page Six also reports that Cosby's legal team plans to put Foxwoods Casino Resorts manager Thomas Cantone and Constand pal Sheri Lynn Williams on the stand. The comedian says that Cantone can confirm that Constand voluntarily went to Cosby's hotel room late at night with gifts, as well as lit a fire and got on the bed. Constand said in court that she used the bed to sit on because there was nowhere else to sit.
While Williams would reportedly refute Constand's allegations that she wasn't aware of Cosby's sexual desire for her, reports Page Six, a third witness, Temple University employee Marguerite Jackson, is also considered crucial, as she claims that Constand told her that she could "set up" the TV actor for a payday, according to court papers — Constand says, however, that she does not know Jackson.