‘I’m absolutely in shock’
“I’m absolutely in shock … My stomach is lurching and I am deeply distressed about the injustice of the whole thing,” Valentino said of the overturned conviction, which took place on Wednesday (30 June).
Valentino, a former Playboy model, was one of more than 50 women who came forward to accuse Mr Cosby of rape and sexual assault dating as far back as 1965.
The comedian and actor had long maintained his innocence in the case, which stemmed from an accusation that he drugged and had sex with a Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, in 2004.
The court ruling on Wednesday resulted from an agreement Mr Cosby struck with a district attorney, Bruce Castor, in 2005 wherein Mr Castor declined to prosecute Mr Cosby in exchange for the latter’s testimony during a civil trial.
The justices ruled that the agreement prevented prosecution for the claims brought by Ms Constand and wrote that the prosecutorial discretion of Pennsylvania’s district attorneys was not “free of the constraints of due process”.
The shocking news comes a year after Mr Cosby’s parole was denied after he declined to participate in a sexual violence program conducted in the prison, with his attorneys arguing at the time that participation in such a programme would make their client appear guilty.
In 2018, Valentino told The Independent of watching Mr Cosby stand trial: “I just have always had this feeling that if this ever came to trial I would have to come. I really had no choice”.
Ms Valentino, who sported “Stand with Truth” and “Still I Rise” pins throughout the trial, said Ms Constand was “symbolic of all of us”.
“If she gets justice, it is justice for all of us,” she added. “And not only just for us – It’s for all women – all victims.”