Bill Cosby Says His Trial Was 'Not Fair' And His 'People' Will Root For Him In First Interview Since His Imprisonment
Cosby, in a rare interview, said his trial was "political."
November 26, 2019 at 2:41 am
Bill Cosby, once known as "America’s dad" and now a convicted sex offender, is speaking out for the first time since beginning his prison sentence at SCI-Phoenix prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The interview, orchestrated by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and reported on by Black Press USA, was conducted in several 15-minute interviews due to prison limitations. It was organized by Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman, and Cosby reportedly said no topics would be off-limits.
The 82-year-old comedian, director and actor maintained his innocence and said he will not admit to doing anything he didn’t do. Cosby added that he fully anticipates serving his entire sentence unless he receives help from Pennsylvania’s appellate courts.
“I have eight years and nine months left,” Cosby said. “When I come up for parole, they’re not going to hear me say that I have remorse. I was there. I don’t care what group of people come along and talk about this when they weren’t there. They don’t know.”
Black Press USA noted that expressing remorse is usually a prerequisite to obtaining a shortened sentence or parole.
He also said his trial was “a sham, unjust and not fair.”
“Look at the woman who blew the whistle,” he added, alluding to the potential juror who overheard a seated juror proclaim before the trial that, “he’s guilty, we can all go home now.”
“Then she went in and came out smiling, it’s something attorneys will tell you is called a payoff. I know what they’ve done to my people. But my people are going to view me and say, ‘that boy looks good. That boy is strong.’ I have too many heroes that I’ve sat with. Too many heroes whom I listened to like John Henrik Clarke, Kenneth Clark, and Dorothy Height. Those people are very strong, and they saw the rejection of their people. This is political. I can see the whole thing,” Cosby said.
The comedian and star of The Cosby Show has faced dozens of sexual misconduct allegations over the years but was found guilty in only one case dating back to nearly 15 years ago. He was convicted of drugging and assaulting a former Temple University employee named Andrea Constand, NBC News reports.
In the interview, Cosby also shared his thoughts about Black people and public policy, which was reminiscent of his infamous “Pound Cake” speech, which he also said was a "mistake."
During the 2004 speech at an NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. The Board of Education, Cosby was critical of the Black community.
“They are under siege,” Cosby said. “This thing with the drugs and the different pockets of the neighborhoods where it's going on. When you look at what drugs are doing … things that make these people drive around and shoot into crowds.”
“The insanity of what is the cause to the brain by all the drugs these people are dealing with. It’s exactly what I warned them about in 2004," he told NNPA. "They’ve thrown education out the window. They’ve thrown respect for the family out the window, and they’re blaming each other for what’s going on. There is post-traumatic stress syndrome, and there are also bad manners."
While in prison, Cosby is often the guest speaker for a prison group called Mann Up, which reportedly has a goal of uplifting Black men.
“I don’t belong to the Mann Up Association, but it’s a privilege to come in and speak,” Cosby said. “I never wanted them to lord me up (be put on a pedestal). This is a great privilege.”
Other SCI-Phoenix inmates said he is helping others.
“Every Tuesday, Mr. Cosby and I sit down and talk before the other residents come in and he explains to me what moves I need to make so that Mann Up can be a success,” said Anthony Sutton, who has spent his entire adult life in prison.
“He says to always remember to work as a team. We are all in this life together and Mr. Cosby is a political prisoner and he tells us that we’ve got to save our babies. We can’t be out there killing our children and our women,” Sutton added.
Cosby added that his family has been supportive of him in prison.
“I got a wife, family, and friends who are so happy that I have something. I go into my penthouse [his prison cell] and lay down and start to think about how I can relay a message and give it on Saturdays [during Mann Up sessions] so that they would hear it and feel it,” Cosby said.