Less than a week after a mistrial was declared in Bill Cosby’s criminal case for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand, the actor shamelessly is getting ready to go on the road to teach people how to avoid being charged with sex crimes.
“We have received hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches who want to hear Mr. Cosby speak at town halls about the issue of criminal justice, how the deal he was given was taken away and the Willie Horton style ad that got the current D.A. in office and after Mr. Cosby,” Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt told Deadline today, confirming remarks he and fellow flack Ebonee Benson made on Alabama local TV earlier Thursday (see video below). “These organizations fear for young men and women today; this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” Wyatt added.
“We have just started talks this week, but Birmingham is going to be one of the cities, perhaps Chicago and Detroit, lots of places,” Wyatt said of the tour that starts in July, which could come as the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office continues to move forward with a planned new trial by the end of the year. Wyatt had no comment on questions about the appropriateness or optics of such a tour by Cosby, who would have to register as a sex offender among his punishments if found guilty in a new trial.
The PR rep was reprimanded by the judge in the Norristown, PA, courtroom for his remarks to the media during the trial that ended on June 17 after more than 50 hours of deliberations by the ultimately deadlocked jurors. Cosby, who turns 80 next month, faces more than 10 years in jail if convicted on three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault that the Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele still is charging the actor with.
Cosby took to social media today in what sure felt like the opening salvo in a victory lap:
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 22, 2017
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 22, 2017
Today, Steele’s office had no response about the announcement of the planned tour, but another lawyer representing several other women among the dozens and dozens who have said that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them sure did.
“Mr. Cosby’s so-called workshops appear to be a transparent and slick effort to attempt to influence the jury pool from which jurors will be selected for his second criminal trial,” Gloria Allred said Thursday. “Mr. Cosby should understand, however, that this is not about optics,” added the attorney, who was in Judge Steven O’Neill’s courtroom every day of the June 5-starting trial.
“It is about evidence, and according to news reports at least 10 jurors out of 12 voted to convict him on one felony count,” Allred said, noting the anonymous interview that ABC News had with a former juror Wednesday after O’Neill made public the names of the previously sequestered jury of seven men and five women and the six alternates. Despite being told not to by the judge, other juror and alternates have revealed details of their intense deliberations to the media.
“Under the circumstances, Mr. Cosby should not be conducting sex assault workshops, but if he does do them then the best advice he can give to those attending is that if you do not drug and sexually assault women, then you need not worry about being charged with a crime,” she added.
While admitting in a 2005 deposition he gave former Temple University employee Constand several blue Benadryl pills that night at his Philadelphia area mansion in January 2004, Cosby always has said the incident was consensual.
Elected late last year partially on a campaign promise to prosecute Cosby, Steele arraigned the actor in December 2015 just before the Keystone State’s statute of limitations for sex crimes expired. It is the only criminal case against the actor despite more than 60 women accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the decades.
Here is Wyatt and Benson’s appearance on Good Morning Alabama today: