Why Isn't Monique Pressley Representing Bill Cosby? The Controversial Attorney Stepped Down From The Case
One of Bill Crosby's lawyers has garnered more attention than anticipated after sexual assault charges were filed against him in December 2015. For one, she announced the countersuits against seven of his accusers, saying that they made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him" — despite the fact that some 50 women have all come forward with similar accusations, which Cosby denies. And she didn't stop in court either; she went to bat for Cosby in the media, too. So why isn't Monique Pressley representing Bill Cosby? She resigned from the case in August, and has not commented on the matter since.
The news was reported first by Deadline, which said that Pressley had announced via court filings that she would no longer be representing Cosby. That was confirmed to The New York Times by Cosby's spokesman, Andrew Wyatt. He also declined to comment on reason for her departure but noted "it was not uncommon for people involved with high-profile law cases to change their legal representation," The Times reported. This is the third attorney shakeup that Cosby has seen in the past year: He replaced one lawyer last October, and another in July.
One of Pressley's most controversial moments came shortly after she joined Cosby's defense team. She spoke with HuffPost Live days after the release of New York's cover featuring 35 of the women who have accused him of assault (which again he denies). She tried to claim that any assault needs to be reported immediately to gather evidence, otherwise there's no way to prove it one way or the other. Pressley told host Marc Lamont Hill:
The only way for a woman to get the justice that she seeks — and that, if her allegation is true, that she deserves — is to come forward [soon after the crime]. And even if the reasons that the women did not do that are legitimate ones, what cannot happen — in my opinion, in the United States — is that 40 years later there is a persecution tantamount to a witch hunt where there was no prosecution timely and there was no civil suit timely. And there's not any testimony or any accusation from any of these women that Mr. Cosby in any way bound them, gagged them, prevented them from coming forward and saying whatever their truth was at the time. That's not what happened.
She also used the word "responsibility," suggesting that women have a responsibility for their bodies, decisions, and conduct. Hill countered that such language sounds like "victim-blaming" and articles have been written about her saying as much. Pressley responded by saying that "victim-blaming" is just a "hashtag" and went on to say that "every person who says that something happened to them is not necessarily telling the truth."
Pressley also ran into some trouble while representing Cosby's wife, Camille, in Massachusetts. Cosby is being sued by seven of the women he has denied assaulting for libel, and the defense attorneys wanted her off that case. It seems they got their wish.