In his first interview after his sexual assault conviction was overturned, Bill Cosby seemingly reflected on how his release from prison has been a victory for people who have been wrongfully incarcerated.
The disgraced comedian and actor was sentenced in September 2018 to three to 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated assault for drugging and sexually assaulting former basketball player, Andrea Constand, in his home in 2004. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned his conviction, paving the way for his eventual release.
“Frankie, you can see how powerless many of us feel, because there’s a saying that is my mantra: ‘It’s not what they’re doing to you, it’s what you’re not doing’,” Cosby told Detroit radio host Frankie Darcell, ET Canada reported.
“And when you are Frankie Darcell, and you do it, look at what you did. Take advantage of this situation, and play it like you have never played something before, because your audience needs the truth, they need clarity, they need guidance, and they need to know where to go, and how to join, and how to do things.”
The 83-year-old added: “Because this is not just a Black thing — this is for all the people who have been imprisoned wrongfully, regardless of race, colour or creed.”
Cosby also spoke about inmates he had met who could not properly plead their cases in court because they can’t get proper legal representation. “Because I’ve met them in there. People who talked about what happened and what they did, and I know there are many liars out there, but these people can’t get lawyers,” he said. “And the lawyers they get are with the lawyers that are going against them.”
Cosby’s case was the first high-profile celebrity conviction of the #MeToo era which was initiated to raise awareness of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace. The comedian also had several other women coming out to accuse him of sexual misconduct going back to almost 30 years. However, he was only tried criminally for the incident against Constand.
The Philadelphia native had served more than two years of his sentence when the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that he had been denied a fair trial in 2018. The judges said there was a “process violation” because Cosby’s lawyers had made an agreement with a previous state prosecutor that he would not be charged in the case. However, in 2015, a prosecutor filed charges after testimony from a civil lawsuit brought by Constand against the actor was disclosed, BBC reported.