Jailed comedian Bill Cosby has maintained his innocence in his first interview since his imprisonment in Pennsylvania for aggravated indecent assault.
In a telephone interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s BlackPressUSA.com, Cosby, 82, said he is mentoring and teaching other African American inmates through a prison reform program called Mann Up. Cosby, who is incarcerated at SCI-Phoenix, was convicted in September 2018 for assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.
Though he was sentenced to three to 10 years, Cosby told BlackPressUSA.com that he believes he will serve the maximum sentence unless the state’s appellate courts intervene.
Cosby went on to say that he is innocent and will not admit to something he did not do. The disgraced comedian called his high-profile trial a “set up” and called the jury that convicted him “imposters,” noting that a potential juror claimed they heard a seated juror say, “he’s guilty, we can all go home now.”
“I have eight years and nine months left,” Cosby told the news outlet. “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.”
During the 13-minute interview, “The Cosby Show” creator claimed that his sitcoms being scrubbed from streaming services and television was an example of executives suppressing or erasing anything that promotes positivity in the Black community.
Cosby also told BlackPressUSA.com that he regrets delivering his controversial “Pound Cake” speech during the 2004 NAACP event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. He said his speech — which urged African Americans to stop blaming their misfortunes on racism — should have been directed to SCI-Phoenix inmates instead.
A decade later, Cosby’s controversial speech sparked Hannibal Buress’ on-stage tirade in which he calls him a “rapist.” Footage of Buress’ 2014 stand-up routine went viral and brought multiple sexual misconduct accusations involving Cosby back into the national spotlight.
Deeming himself an “educator,” Cosby said, “I tell them [inmates] what I know and what I feel. I feel that everything that I said in 2004, there is a light [behind it].”
“The mistake I made [in 2004] is making it sound like all the people were making the infractions, and that’s not true.”
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[Featured Image: Bill Cosby/State Correctional Institute at Phoenix]