Cosby Breaks Silence as Trial Draws Near
Says he won't testify, suggests that racism may be at play
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 11:56 AM CDT
Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – When Bill Cosby's rape trial gets underway in just under three weeks, don't expect to see the celeb himself on the stand. In a rare interview with Michael Smerconish of SiriusXM that aired Tuesday, Cosby says he doesn't expect to testify in his own defense, reports Deadline. But that's far from the only nugget making headlines. Related coverage:

  • Racism: Smerconish played a recording of daughter Ensa Cosby declaring that "racism has played a big role" in the allegations and asked Cosby if he agreed, per the Daily Beast and CNN. "Could be, could be," he said. "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. And I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that."
  • Elaborating: When Smerconish noted that his alleged victims were both black and white, Cosby said various motivations were at play, including revenge. “So it's not all, not every, but I do think that there's some," per Entertainment Weekly.
  • Hear him: Listen to a clip on the racism part here.
  • A PR push? The interview comes out one day after daughters Erinn and Ensa issued audio statements defending their dad, in what CNN sees as a concerted PR push by the family. Ensa says her dad has been "publicly lynched."

  • His late son: Cosby also issued a rare tweet Monday that referenced his wife and kids, including murdered son Ennis. "I love you Camille, Erika, Erinn, Ensa & Evin - keep fighting in Spirit Ennis," he wrote. Ennis was fatally shot in 1997 at age 27, and People has more details on the killing.
  • Gloria Steinem? At one point in the interview, Cosby complained about the media "piling on" and quoted the renowned feminist as saying, "The truth shall set you free, but first it might piss you off." The Washington Post talks to Steinem, who's baffled Cosby would mention her. "It seems to me the women who are accusing him have more right to use that quote," she says. "I have no idea what he was thinking."
  • Daughter's essay: Evin, who at 40 is Cosby's youngest daughter, wrote an essay in April defending her father, saying he "loves and respects women" and is not "abusive, violent, or a rapist."
  • The trial: It begins June 5, and Cosby faces three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault against then Temple University employee Andrea Constand, recounts Deadline. The 79-year-old faces up to 10 years in jail. About 60 other women have accused him of sexual assault.

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