In a statement issued Tuesday after a pretrial hearing in the criminal sexual assault case against him, Bill Cosby’s attorneys alleged racial bias in the abuse accusations and assailed “the trampling of Mr. Cosby’s civil rights.”
“Mr. Cosby is no stranger to discrimination and racial hatred, and throughout his career Mr. Cosby has always used his voice and his celebrity to highlight the commonalities and has portrayed the differences that are not negative – no matter the race, gender and religion of a person,” the statement read.
“Yet, over the last fourteen months, Mr. Cosby, and those who have supported him, have been ignored, while lawyers like Gloria Allred hold press conferences to accuse him of crimes for unwitnessed events that allegedly occurred almost a half century earlier.”
Pennsylvania’s criminal investigation against Cosby was re-launched 14 months ago. Allred, a California-based attorney, is representing more than half of the 50-plus women who have accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting him.
Cosby has denied all allegations, and he pleaded not guilty to the Pennsylvania charges.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
On Tuesday, Allred and one of the accusers she represents were scheduled to hold a news conference in support of legislation that would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in California for rape and sexual assault.
Cosby’s lawyers’ statement continued, “The time has come to shine a spotlight on the trampling of Mr. Cosby’s civil rights. Gloria Allred apparently loves the media spotlight more than she cares about justice. She calls herself a civil rights attorney, but her campaign against Mr. Cosby builds on racial bias and prejudice that can pollute the court of public opinion.
“And when the media repeats her accusations – with no evidence, no trial and no jury – we are moved backwards as a country and away from the America that our civil rights leaders sacrificed so much to create.
Mr. Cosby is not giving up the fight for his rights.”
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele declined comment on Cosby’s statement.
Allred could not immediately be reached for comment.