After months of media silence and less than eight weeks before the start of his criminal trial for the alleged 2004 sexual assault of a then-Temple University employee Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby today has something to admit and his youngest daughter says those who pre-judged her father should be “willing to admit that they were wrong.”
He’s blind and he misses performing, Cosby told Black Press USA this week in the first significant comments besides the odd word or two in court that he has made since charges were laid in late 2015 by the newly elected D.A of Montgomery County, PA. Those charges were made just before the state’s 12-year statute of limitations for such sex crimes expired. Also Evin Cosby has now spoken out too, declaring her father“is not abusive, violent or a rapist” – despite the nearly 60 women who claim that The Cosby Show creator assaulted or drugged them over the decades for sex.
Both rare public statements come in what are the dual opening salvos in an image-resetting attempt before the June 5 trial that could see the much-accused actor behind bars for up to a decade.
“You probably won’t hear more from Mr. Cosby but probably from various validators like family members and friends,” Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told Deadline today of the strategy. “They have been waiting to say something. They want their voices heard.”
“After months of losing in the court of public opinion, Cosby and his advisors are hoping they can make up some ground by having a chorus of women speak for him,” a source with close knowledge of the situation and players explains. “They know Cosby is ultimately not his own best advocate.”
That chorus already publicly includes Evin Cosby, the actor’s lead lawyer Angela Agrusa and Dr. E. Faye Williams, the CEO of the National Congress of Black Women. Coordinated with Team Cosby, the latter took the dubious position of telling Black Press USA that if Donald Trump gets to be President after harassing and unacceptable behavior towards women “then justice requires that Bill Cosby should not be punished, unless he is convicted of crimes.”
While already asserted repeatedly over the last year by the much-accused actor’s lawyers and flacks, Cosby’s personal admission of his declining sight came as he responded to questions sent to him by Black Press USA. “I think about walking out on stage somewhere in the United States of America and sitting down in a chair and giving the performance that will be the beginning of the next chapter of my career,” the 79-year old told the outlet in a piece posted Wednesday.
Of course, the end of Cosby performances, new ventures and his reputation has come as a consequence of those claims by almost 60 women in recent years. Those allegations and the early June starting trial on the three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault of Constand were not addressed in the Black Press USA digital interview.
Still, the controlled correspondence is set to be the first but clearly not last move in a potentially fraught PR campaign designed to reframe and rehabilitate the actor’s image before jury selection is set to start on May 22. As her father discusses his health and career desires, the youngest Cosby child is taking the family first route in her defense of him.
“The public persecution of my dad, my kids’ grandfather, and the cruelty of the media and those who speak out branding my father a ‘rapist’ without ever knowing the truth and who shame our family and our friends for defending my dad, makes all of this so much worse for my family and my children,” says Evin Cosby in a lengthy statement made that was posted on the actor’s Facebook page today. “When people are so quick to cast hate and make accusations of horrific violence against my dad, they are callous in their carelessness about the harm they are causing to others.”
“I know that my father loves me, loves my sisters and my mother,” the Cosby daughter adds in what at points seems divorced from reality and at other times damning praise amidst adoration. “He loves and respects women. He is not abusive, violent or a rapist. Sure, like many celebrities tempted by opportunity, he had his affairs, but that was between him and my mother. They have worked through it and moved on, and I am glad they did for them and for our family.”
“The harsh and hurtful accusations of things that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime, and that have been carelessly repeated as truth without allowing my dad to defend himself and without requiring proof, has punished not just my dad but every one of us,” Evin Cosby continues in her defense of her father.
“They have punished the talented people who were still earning money and feeding their families from my dad’s shows and work. I am pleased that finally we are seeing the whole picture and seeing cases and claims dismissed from court. I just hope that those who pre-judged my dad are now willing to admit that they were wrong.”
As some Cosby civil cases have closed and others continue, whether or not, those who “pre-judged” are wrong will likely be decided by a jury in Norristown, PA this summer – in the court of the law, not the battlefield of public opinion.