After two years without public comment on the subject, comedian and actor Bill Cosby has spoken out about his sexual assault scandal to say that he will not testify at his trial next month. He added that there’s a possibility that racism played a role in his treatment over the claims.
Cosby gave his first interview in two years, speaking to radio host Michael Smerconish from Sirius XM. In this rare 30-minute interview he addressed the trial he will be facing in a month against former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who accused the entertainer of drugging and molesting her. The scandal surfaced in 2014, and another 50 women have claimed similar accusations ever since.
He has denied every accusation, stating that any drug taking or sex was consensual.
In the interview, the 79-year-old comedian revealed that he will not take the stand in his own defense at the trial that will take place next month in Philadelphia, and will leave the case in the hands of his legal team. The jury selection is set to begin on Monday.
“Yes, I do have lawyers to protect me,” he said. “But I just don’t want to sit there and have to figure out what I believe is a truthful answer to whether or not I’m opening a can of something that my lawyers are scrambling.”
Recordings of his daughters defending him were played during the interview
At first, Erinn Cosby offered Smerconish a 1½ -hour recording of an interview she and her sister did to her father for a documentary. But Smerconish said he would only play fragments of the interview if he were able to interview the comedy legend himself.
Cosby agreed with the conditions, saying that he felt it was necessary to break his silence for the sake of people who still believed in him. “ I decided that I think it’s time for me to do something so that the people who still have faith in me, the people who are still wondering what I sound like as opposed to The National Enquirer, which is very intelligent reading when they write about me,” he said.
“What my father and family have had to endure these last few years makes me ashamed of our country today,” Erinn said in her taped statement. Her sister Ensa said: “I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal… My father is being punished by a society that still believes black men rape white women but passes off as ‘boys will be boys’ when white men are accused.”
When asked by Smerconish if he agreed with Ensa’s analysis, Cosby said: “Could be… I can’t say anything, but there are certain things that I look at, and I apply to the situation, and there are so many tentacles. So many different – ‘nefarious’ is a great word. I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”
The radio host remarked that among Cosby’s accusers, there are black and white women as well. The comedian responded: “Let me put it to you this way – when you look at the power structure, and when you look at individuals, there are some people who can very well be motivated by whether or not they’re going to work. Or whether or not they might be able to get back at someone. So, if it’s in terms of whatever the choice is, I think that you can also examine individuals and situations and they will come out differently. So, it’s not all – not every – but I do think that there’s some.”
Cosby may have suggested that all women accusing him are lying
Smerconish asked Cosby why if the allegations are false, there are dozens of women speaking out against him. The comedian said, “I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the numbers didn’t work.”
So, the piling on, so to speak, is a way – and certainly an impressive, impressive way – to get public opinion to come to the other side,” he added.
The radio host then asked, “Are you telling me that they’re all lying?” Cosby replied, “You know better than that,” adding that he won’t be opening himself up to a defamation suit.
Other topics addressed in the interview were the killing of his son in 1997, taking his wife to dinner for Mother’s Day, his daughters’ childhood and his desire to go back to the stages to perform, no matter the outcome of his trial.
“I still feel like I have an awful lot to offer in terms of my writing, in terms of my performance… I want to get back to the laughter and enjoyment of things that I’ve written and things that I perform on stage.”
Last time we heard about Cosby, he confessed he was completely blind, and her daughter Evin shared an open letter in which she defends him and claims “he loves women”.