Bill Cosby Denies He's Going On A "Sexual Assault Tour"
According to a statement from the actor on Tuesday, Bill Cosby will not hold a "sexual assault tour" in the coming months. The notion of such a tour came from a spokesperson for Cosby, who said recently that Cosby would hold a series of town hall meetings this summer to discuss sexual assault. The back-and-forth over Cosby's next steps comes after his criminal trial in Pennsylvania for an alleged sexual assault ended in a mistrial earlier this month.
In May, a Pennsylvania judge agreed to hear a case that accused Cosby of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. Andrea Constand accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2004, while she worked at Temple University, Cosby's alma mater. Cosby denied the allegation, stating that they had a sexual encounter that was consensual. On June 17, Judge Steven O'Neill declared a mistrial in the case, after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.
Shortly after the mistrial became public, a spokesperson for Cosby reportedly said that the actor would hold a series of town halls in which Cosby would educate young people on the dangers of sexual assault allegations. On Tuesday, however, Cosby's attorney and the actor himself refuted the idea of a so-called "sexual assault tour." Cosby's attorney reportedly said that the actor couldn't jeopardize the impending retrial of his case, while the actor plainly called news of the tour "false."
The retrial in Pennsylvania isn't the only pending legal action that Cosby faces. Next year, a civil trial will begin against Cosby in California, accusing the actor again of sexual assault. A California judge in Los Angeles set a trial date of July 30, 2018, on Tuesday. In that case, a woman has accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974. She was reportedly 15 years old at the time. Cosby's lawyer would not comment on the specific case, but called the allegations against him, "unsubstantiated, fantastical stories." A hearing on September 14 will determine if Cosby has to sit for a second deposition for the case.
According to Reuters, at least 10 women have pending civil suits against Cosby. Those cases have been filed in California and Massachusetts.
In total, at least 58 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. For his part, the actor has denied the claims. In May, Cosby called their allegations "nefarious" during an interview with Michael Smercornish on Sirius XM radio.
'Nefarious’ is a great word. I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.
On Tuesday, Cosby referred to the "sexual assault tour" rumors as "propaganda." Ultimately, it was unclear if the town halls had been scrapped altogether, or if the actor only planned not to discuss sexual assault at the meetings. Leaving it ambiguous, he tweeted, "Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time."