cover image The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women

The Moment: Standing Up to Bill Cosby, Speaking Up for Women

Andrea Constand. Viking, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-735-24047-6

In this searing debut, Constand recounts how she found the strength to testify in court that Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted her in 2004 while she was working for the Temple University women’s basketball team. After a year of “crushing shame and confusion” following the crime, Constand went to the police, only to be told that her legal case was weak. Instead, she pursued and won a civil case. But “it wasn’t money I was after,” she writes, “I wanted justice.” Still, nothing could fully prepare Constand for 2017’s criminal trial, which consumes the latter part of the memoir, as Cosby’s defense interrogated every part of her life (even a sales email she forwarded to friends became proof that she was a “longtime grifter”). Though the case ended in a resounding victory—buoyed by the #MeToo movement—it’s difficult not to see Cosby’s 2021 release as a shadow cast over his victims’ triumph. Constand, however, looks at it another way: as a driver to “speak up again... until we arrive at a real moment of change.” While her prose favors summation over scenes, the depth of Constand’s wounds and the purposeful nature of her resilience shine through as road map for others. The hope here is astounding. Agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. (Sept.)