Topless ‘Cosby Show’ Actress Ambushes Comedian Bill Cosby At Sexual Assault Retrial. Wrong Move!

Cosby’s retrial got off to a memorable start Monday as a topless protester with the phrase “Women’s Lives Matter” written in red ink across her torso jumped a barricade and tried to ambush the comedian as he entered the Montgomery County Courthouse in the suburban Philadelphia enclave of Norristown.

The woman was identified by the district attorney’s office as Nicolle Rochelle, 39, of Little Falls, N.J. She’s an actress who made multiple appearances in the final seasons of The Cosby Show between 1990 and 1992, according to Rochelle’s IMDb page, which also lists her age as 38.

Rochelle got within a few feet of Cosby but sheriff’s deputies intercepted her before she could reach him, taking her into custody and leading her away in handcuffs. She was charged with disorderly conduct and released. (If convicted, she would face a fine and court costs, Edward McCann Jr., first assistant district attorney, said in a press release.)

“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women and to show him that the body can be aggressive and empowered,” Rochelle explained to reporters afterward.

The Associated Press reported a European feminist group, Femen, claimed Rochelle as one of its own. Femen leader Inna Shevchenko told the AP the activist was seeking to defend Cosby’s accusers. The group, which started in Ukraine in 2009, stages topless protests against targets seen as oppressing women.

Cosby, who said last year that he is completely blind, seemed startled by the incident and atmosphere of chanting protesters but he was untouched and uninjured.

Spokesman Andrew Wyatt praised the deputies for stopping the protester but said that in the wake of mass shootings, more security measures must be taken.

Things have changed,” he told the AP. “You never know who’s going to want to make a name for themselves.”

He also questioned why a woman protesting in support of rape victims would be topless, saying it was disrespectful to victims.

Rochelle was one of about six people chanting in support of Cosby’s accuser, former Temple University athletic department staffer Andrea Constand, who says the comedian drugged and raped her at his home in 2004.

The 80-year-old comedian, who has said the sexual contact was consensual, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Before opening statements began Monday, Judge Steven O’Neill questioned a woman from last week’s jury selection who stated in an affidavit that one of the 12 jurors told her he believes Cosby is guilty.

The comedian’s legal team wants the man removed from the jury and replaced with one of the six alternates.

O’Neill says he’ll decide his next step based on what the woman tells him.

(EDITORS NOTE: Image contains nudity and graphic content.) A Protestor disturb the scene as Bill Cosby returns to Montgomery County Courthouse, in Norristown, PA on April 9, 2018 ahead of the sexual assault retail against the 80 year old actor and comedian. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Opening statements due Monday 

Opening statements in Cosby’s retrial on sexual assault charges get underway Monday in what all sides — defense, prosecution and especially the judge — hope will not be a rerun of the deadlocked jury failure that ended Cosby’s first trial last June.

A new jury consisting of 10 whites, two blacks and seven men and five women chosen from within Montgomery County, will be sequestered during the retrial. Out of dozens of accusations against Cosby, the 2015 criminal charges from the Constand case are the only ones to stick. The others are all too old to prosecute.

Aside from the jury and Cosby’s new legal team (led by Thomas Mesereau), the biggest change is what’s happened outside the courtroom: the Me Too movement, which has called out sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and other workplaces.

Credit: AP/USA Today

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