Disturbing day of testimony by one of Bill Cosby's alleged victims who said he promised to help her career but instead drugged her with 'prop' wine
Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial in Norristown, Pennsylvania, started on Monday
His defense lawyer Tom Mesereau delivered his opening statement on Tuesday
He claimed accuser Andrea Constand took advantage of Cosby's loneliness over his son's murder to gain his trust before framing him for sexual assault
Heidi Thomas took the stand later in the day Tuesday and gave a similar account to Constand's
She said Cosby lured her with the promise of career coaching and that instead she was drugged and sexually assaulted
By LAURA COLLINS IN NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM UPDATED: 04:57 EDT, 11 April 2018
The first of five women called as witnesses for the prosecution in Bill Cosby's retrial at a Pennsylvania court told how she lost consciousness after one sip from a glass of wine given to her.
Heidi Thomas says she awoke in a bed to find Cosby trying to force himself into her mouth. She is one of the many accusers whose story the jury did not hear at Cosby's trial in June as Judge Steven T O'Neill permitted only one other accuser to take the stand.
Now Thomas has alleged in court that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in circumstances strikingly similar to those alleged by Andrea Constand.
The disgraced comedian, Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial is expected to last about a month at Montgomery County Courthouse .
Heidi Thomas accused Bill Cosby of drugging her and sexually assaulting her in 1984, during her testimony on Tuesday
Thomas (pictured in 1984) says Cosby lured her with the promise of career coaching. He had her go over dialogue for the part of an intoxicated woman, allegedly drugged her and sexually assaulted her +5
Thomas (pictured in 1984) says Cosby lured her with the promise of career coaching. He had her go over dialogue for the part of an intoxicated woman, allegedly drugged her and sexually assaulted her
Cosby arrives with heightened security for day two of retrial
Thomas described the image of the actor forcing himself into her mouth as 'the most graphic' of the 'snapshots' of memory that she retains from a four day period in April 1984, during which Cosby allegedly lured her to his remote ranch house in Nevada on the promise of mentoring her only to drug and assault her.
Her memory of those days is all but blank save for a few disturbing images.
She said, 'The next snapshot his head was at the head of the bed, my head was at the foot of the bed and I heard his voice saying - he always referred to himself in the third person, he was either Mr C or 'Your Friend.'
'Your friend is going to cum again,' and I remember thinking 'How did I get here? This isn't what I'm here for. And that's that snapshot.'
Thomas was 24-years-old and an actress and model signed to JF Images in Denver when her agent told her that 'an icon in the entertainment world wanted to mentor promising talent.'
Speaking clearly she told of her excitement on learning that the person who had sought her out having seen her headshots and commercial images was Bill Cosby.
The court was shown pictures of Thomas at the time - with loose tumbles of blonde hair and glossy bangs, beautiful, ambitious for a career in acting and, by her own admission, 'a little nobody from Colorado.'
She recalled as 'surreal' her first telephone conversation with the man to whom she repeatedly referred as Mr C.
She said, 'There was a set time (for the call) I was at home and sure enough there he was, Bill Cosby on the line and it was surreal - the voice I heard on TV was on the other end of my phone.
'He was very kind and very personable and basically said he was looking forward to working with me that I had come highly recommended and was looking forward to giving back to the industry that had given him so much and this was his way of doing that.'
Cosby spoke with both of her parents and, she said, 'I don't know what was said but basically I was going to be heading out have my flight paid for my hotel room paid for by my agency and they would take care of everything for me to receive this training.'
A ripple of laughter moved through the courtroom as a photograph of Thomas with her father the day she left on that trip was displayed for the court.
She explained that the far right of the photograph - stuck into a scrapbook she compiled at the time - was covered by a postcard because beneath it was her ex-boyfriend who had showed up uninvited to wave her off and he was, she said 'on the way out.'
On arriving in Nevada Thomas was picked up from the airport by a driver but instead of being driven to a hotel in the city as she had expected they headed to a remote ranch house.
She said, 'I was told (by the driver) that we were here because Mr Cosby is an athlete. He likes to run and this keeps the paparazzi away.
'He has space fresh air, privacy…it was loaned to him by a friend. And this was going to be where the coaching would take place.
'I had no reason not to believe this.'
Nervous and excited she said, 'I rang the doorbell and the door opens and it's Bill Cosby and he's casual and got his sweats on and just as friendly and personable and genuine and, 'Come on in.'
'I realized very quickly the driver had my bags and was told to show me to my room that was the first I knew oh I guess I'm staying here.'
Cosby told her to change into something more comfortable, which she did, before joining Cosby in the kitchen for what she assumed would be the start of her acting lessons.
She recalled doing a monologue that didn't impress Cosby but that she was not offended or surprised given how inexperienced she was.
She said, 'Then he said 'Heidi let's try a cold read. '
'I'm looking at this script and I realize the person I'm meant to be playing is intoxicated.
'Because I was meant to be intoxicated I remember leaning on the table a bit and he still didn't act very impressed.
'He said 'Heidi have you ever been drunk?' I said no not really.
'He said, 'Then how do you expect to play a part if you're handed a script like this?
'I said, 'Well I've seen my fair share of drunk people I've been a cocktail waitress.'
'He basically said that's not going to work for you. If you were to drink what would you drink?
'I said maybe a glass of white wine.'
Her testimony was eerily similar to that of Kelly Johnson who worked at Cosby's agency and testified in the last trial that he drugged her after asking her to cold read the part of an intoxicated woman though she was not an actress.
Thomas (from a file photo in 2016) is the Denver woman who claims she was assaulted by Cosby when she was a 24-year-old-aspiring actress and met him in Reno, Nevada. She testified Tuesday the comedian knocked her out with a potent glass of wine and forced her to perform oral sex +5
Thomas (from a file photo in 2016) is the Denver woman who claims she was assaulted by Cosby when she was a 24-year-old-aspiring actress and met him in Reno, Nevada. She testified Tuesday the comedian knocked her out with a potent glass of wine and forced her to perform oral sex
Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa +5
Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa
Thomas, who does not drink, recalled Cosby placing a glass in front of her though she didn't see him pour it.
She took just one sip she said. 'The next thing [I remember] is the most graphic. I remember waking up on a bed I had my clothes on he did not. I was lying down and he was forcing himself in my mouth.'
Thomas's memory of the next four days is patchy but she remembered feeling sick and heading downstairs where a female cook offered her breakfast but she was too sick to eat.
Instead she walked the grounds with her instamatic camera and took photographs of the trip that was meant to have been so exciting.
The court saw those pictures - interiors of Cosby's home and the grounds - that she had also kept in her scrapbook.
Her actual recollections are hazy and disjointed. She remembered sitting next to Cosby as he drove his car. She remembered meeting the Temptations back stage at a show with him.
She remembered feeling sick and shaky in the bathroom of the ranch house.
And she remembers feeling guilt and blame. She wondered what she had done wrong. She assumed she must have been somehow responsible for what had happened.
Thomas said it never occurred to her to tell her agent and she couldn't bear to tell her parents.
She said, 'I felt I must have said something that was misunderstood.'
After she'd returned home to Denver, Thomas began to feel very strongly that she wanted to 'fix it.'
She said, 'Your reputation is everything. It's easy enough to be accused of sleeping yourself to the top. It's horrible.
'I needed to fix this I needed to find out what I said, what I did.'
She remembered that Cosby, with whom she had spoken a handful of times on the telephone before traveling to Nevada, had said he would be her mentor.
She said, 'He said that I could call anytime if I had questions and concerns so I finally decided I was going to take him up on this office.'
Two months had passed when she made that telephone call. She did not get to speak directly to Cosby but was told he was performing in St Louis and assured that if she traveled she would have time to speak with him one on one.
She paid for her hotel, she paid for her flight - again photographs of that trip were displayed for the court.
But Thomas said that it gradually became apparent that the one on one time she had hoped for, to make sense of what had happened in Reno, was not going to happen.
Eventually as a dinner to which she was invited along with several others of his entourage wound down she asked Cosby's driver and valet whom she remembered from Reno to take her camera and take her picture with Cosby.
She said, 'I handed my camera to them and they took my picture and the flash went off and he wasn't very happy.
'At that point it was pretty clear I wasn't going to get answers so I really didn't care if he was happy or not.'
In the following years Thomas said she drifted away from show business.
She married her now husband of 31 years, whom she had just started dating at the time of the alleged assault though they had met several years earlier.
She substituted dreams of fame for dreams of family.
She went onto have three daughters with him and now works as a music - piano and vocals - teacher and pianist.
She did not tell her husband about what happened with Cosby for several years after their marriage - she said she could not remember exactly when she did.
She said, 'I don't think it was denial. I'd told a psychologist about it. I think I just wanted to move on.'
Bliss took Thomas back through her theatrical ambitions and trip to Reno in painstaking detail. She asked Thomas if she took a big sip or a 'little girl sip' of wine.
Thomas replied that she knew she was a 'lightweight' as she really didn't drink.
Thomas once more described waking far from the kitchen in which she had taken that sip of wine, in a bed with Cosby 'on top of her and forcing himself into her mouth.'
She repeated her memory of waking again to find her head at the foot of the bed and hear him refer to himself as 'your friend' and tell her he was going to 'cum again.'
As she did so Cosby who listened intently tilted his head back and appeared to nod.
Bliss will continue her cross examination tomorrow morning.
There will be five women testifying at Bill Cosby's retrial.
That is a big increase from the first trial, where there were just two women who took the stand - plaintiff Andrea Constand and Kelly Johnson.
Constand will be taking the stand once again, and this time be joined by Janice Baker-Kinney, Janice Dickinson, Chelan lasha, Lisa-Lotte Lublin and Heidi Thomas.
Prosecutors had been hoping to have 13 women testify alongside Constand to speak to a pattern of behavior exhibited by the defendant.
Cosby, 80, has been accused of drugging and raping over 40 women.