Who Is Andrew Wyatt? Bill Cosby's Spokesperson Is Tasked With Damage Control
Nearly two years after the most recent string of sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby first came to light, the once-iconic actor finally faced a felony sexual assault pretrial conference on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The conference focused on the allegations filed by Andrea Constand, who claimed Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 2004. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all charges. This pretrial hearing also shed a renewed light on the Cosby accusations, and defending him in the press was Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's spokesman.
With 58 women accusing Cosby of rape or sexual assault, the pretrial set a precedent for whether the other women will be able to give testimony in Constand's case. And at the conference it was revealed that as many as 13 women could testify against Cosby at the upcoming trial, another thing Wyatt will have to answer to when confronted by the media.
Wyatt has served as Cosby's voice throughout the stream of allegations and lead-up to the pretrial, filling in for the alleged rapist during interviews and discussions with the press. As the founder of Purpose PR, Wyatt's job is to paint Cosby in the best light possible. Wyatt was undoubtedly prepared with answers for the press following Tuesday's pretrial hearing, as additional evidence against Cosby was expected to unfold.
One aspect of the pretrial conference Wyatt may have to answer for is the 1,000-page document of damaging testimony Cosby gave in Constand's original 2005 lawsuit, in which he admitted to drugging women prior to engaging in "romantic rendezvous" with them. The actor's legal team had hoped to have that testimony thrown out in the pretrial on the grounds that Cosby was allegedly told he would not face charges if he testified in the 2005 lawsuit.
But Wyatt has not always been able to step in for the disgraced actor, as Cosby's own time with the press has been limited and frequently baffling. After infamously answering "no comment" when asked about the sexual assault allegations in interviews with NPR and the Associated Press, Cosby emerged again to give yet another confusing interview with Nightline in May 2015.
The interview was criticized for being rambling, with Cosby frequently giving long-winded, allegorical answers that seemingly had nothing to do with the questions. In response to the interview, Ad Week asked: "Did he consult beforehand with Andrew Wyatt of Purpose PR, or any other media relations experts, on how to approach the interview? Maybe, and apparently not."
Of course, Wyatt will only be able to do public damage control in the wake of Tuesday's pretrial conference. The true implications of this next round in Cosby's legal battle with be decided on the courtroom floor when his trial starts on June 5, 2017.