*Security will nearly double around the suburban Philadelphia courthouse where Bill Cosby is standing trial on sexual assault charges after a topless protester jumped a single barricade and got too close to the comedian as he entered court on Monday.
A double row of barricades will now keep folks away from the 80-year-old comedian. They were set up by Monday afternoon as Cosby left court following the first day of his retrial.
The naked protester, 39-year-old actress Nicolle Rochelle, of Little Falls, New Jersey, appeared on several episodes of “The Cosby Show” as a child. She told reporters that she didn’t have any bad experiences with Cosby while on the show, nor did she intend to physically hurt him outside court. She is a member of the European feminist group Femen, which is known for staging topless protests around the world.
Her body scrawled with the names of more than 50 Cosby accusers as well as the words “Women’s Lives Matter,” Rochelle ran in front of Cosby and toward a bank of TV cameras but was intercepted by sheriff’s deputies and led away in handcuffs. She was charged with disorderly conduct and released.
“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women,” she said afterward.
Watch the ambush below, and her interview with CBS Philly above:
Inside the courtroom, Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney Kevin Steele told jurors that Cosby paid nearly $3.4 million to the woman he is charged with sexually assaulting, answering one of the biggest questions surrounding the case.
Steele highlighted the 2006 civil settlement during his opening statement in an apparent attempt to suggest Cosby wouldn’t have paid out so much money if the accusations against him were false. The amount had previously been confidential — and was kept out of the first trial — but a judge ruled that both sides could discuss it at this one.
The defense will deliver its opening statement this morning (April 10) in a trial that is expected to last a month.
Cosby’s first trial last spring ended with the jury deadlocked. The comedian faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.