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Andrea Constand Andrea Constand. Photo credit: Lucas Jackson/Pool via AP

On the first day of Bill Cosby’s retrial, jurors learned that Cosby paid more than $3 million in 2006 to keep his accuser, Andrea Constand, from talking about their civil suit over an alleged sexual assault.

During opening arguments Monday in Norristown, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told the jury that Constand sued Cosby in 2005, after learning that law enforcement would not bring charges against him based on her allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted her.

The civil suit resulted in a settlement of $3.38 million, Steele said, and required that Constand stay quiet about the outcome or underlying facts of the civil case.

Steele also noted that Constand did not approach law enforcement again about her allegations after the settlement. Instead, he said, his office approached her after certain records from the civil case became public in 2015.

Steele also emphasized that while Constand is the complainant, she is not the party bringing a case against Cosby now.

“This case is not Andrea Constand versus the defendant. This is the commonwealth of Pennsylvania versus the defendant,” he said.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled leading up to trial that some evidence regarding the civil suit and confidential settlement would be admissible.

Also during his opening argument, Steele referenced sexual assault accusations brought against Cosby by other women. O’Neill has allowed the prosecution to call five women other than Constand to testify about their allegations against Cosby.

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Lizzy McLellan

Lizzy McLellan writes about the Pennsylvania legal community and the business of law at firms of all sizes. Contact her at lmclellan@alm.com. On Twitter: @LizzyMcLell

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