Andrea Constand—the woman whose alleged sexual assault landed disgraced comedy icon Bill Cosby in prison for more than two years of what was supposed to be a three to 10-year sentence—is not done speaking out against her accused attacker. She had spoken for the first time since his release from prison due to a previous deal that should have prevented his criminal prosecution.
ET reports that Constand appeared on NBC News for an interview that aired Tuesday (Sept. 7), during which, she called the American justice system “flawed” and said she was “really shocked” and “disappointed” to learn of Cosby’s release and the legal decision that ensures “any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred,” according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn his conviction.
“How can a district attorney enforce a decision on a backroom handshake? How can he give any credibility to that?” Constand asked before calling Cosby “a sexually violent predator who basically was let out of jail.”
Despite her disgust and disappointment at the court’s decision, Constand said she doesn’t feel any less vindicated knowing she had been heard, finally, and that her story was believed in a world where misogyny and indifference often leave sexual assault victims with no recourse for finding some semblance of justice.
“Bill Cosby walks free, but it doesn’t change the fact that my testimony was believed,” she said. “I had a story to tell, but also, it was what was going to bring me true healing.”
In response to Cosby’s claims upon release that he was “imprisoned wrongfully,” Constand said it “didn’t surprise me, given the level of the arrogance and having no remorse” during the time he was incarcerated.
Finally, Constand spoke on something sexual assault victims often have to ponder, unfortunately, after coming forward and braving the skepticism, invasive scrutiny and outright condemnation survivors endure all too often after reporting what happened to them (which is why it’s ridiculous that “Why did they take so long to speak up?” is still even a thing).
“I’ve come way too far to go back to that place to wonder whether it was all worth it or to have regrets,” Constand said. “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, families, friends that were right there with me.”
She also had a message for all current and future 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. I will fight. I will be a voice for the change that is needed. Whatever country, state, wherever I’m needed, I will be in service there to fight.”