Bill Cosby’s publicity team is now saying that the comedian’s upcoming town hall tour most definitely is not about sexual assault, but rather about “the restoration of his legacy.”
And they’re blaming the media for getting it wrong in the first place.
On this morning’s CNN New Day Weekend, Cosby publicist Ebonee Benson told New Day co-host Christi Paul, “The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault. I will repeat. These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault.” (Watch the clip below).
“When we initially talked about the town hall meetings,” Benson said, “it was about restoration of legacy, much to what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media. This is another example of that. To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man’s legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That’s what this is about.”
Except, of course, that’s not how Team Cosby earlier described the planned tour. As Paul’s co-host Victor Blackwell noted, “That does not match at all what she and her colleague told an interviewer on Thursday.”
New Day then ran the by-now famous interview in which Cosby publicist Andrew Wyatt said “this is bigger than Bill Cosby. You know, this issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they are hanging out and partying, when they are doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects, you know, married men.”
Benson herself had said, “Laws are changing. Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So, this why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. You know, anything at this point could be considered sexual assault. It’s very — it’s a good thing to be educated about the law.”
As Deadline’s Dominic Patten reported last week, the town hall tour announcement came less than a week after a mistrial was declared in the case accusing Cosby of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. The Pennsylvania D.A. has vowed to retry the case.
Here’s the New Day segment about Team Cosby’s course-reversal: