BILL COSBY SENTENCED, LED OFF IN HANDCUFFS
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – It was a sight many of Bill Cosby’s accusers thought they might never see: the comedian being led off – in handcuffs – to prison. But that is the image of Cosby that may end up being his last public appearance. The comedian, who is 81, was sentenced yesterday to serve three to 10 years in prison after being convicted in April of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004. While it was just one case that led to his being locked away, Cosby’s day of reckoning was a moment of triumph for dozens of women who have come forward. Most all of them had publicly claimed the comedian befriended them, earned a measure of their trust – only to drug and violate them sexually. That was the message the sentencing judge made clear to Cosby before announcing his ruling. Said Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill, “It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come.”
BILL COSBY – IN THE END, ALONE
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – During his many appearances in court, Bill Cosby has had people who came out to support him. But yesterday, when he was marched off to prison, he was all alone, other than the publicist who’s paid to speak on his behalf. Cosby’s wife of more than a half century, Camille, was nowhere to be seen in court – this after releasing a series of blistering complaints about the trial and the judge handling it. None of Cosby’s other family members or celebrity pals were there, either. In a statement after sentencing, his rep Andrew Wyatt said Cosby was victimized by what he called the “most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States.”
BILL COSBY – DISTRICT ATTORNEY COMMENTS
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – The district attorney who won a conviction against Bill Cosby says the comedian’s fame and celebrity had kept his day of reckoning from coming sooner. Montgomery County D.A. Kevin Steele says for decades, Cosby “has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes.” But now Steele says with his conviction and sentencing, “finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked.” Steele says the “real man” Cosby – was the one who was carted off to prison yesterday.
BILL COSBY BRANDED “SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR”
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Bill Cosby’s shame will outlive his prison sentence. Before he was sentenced to prison yesterday, the judge in his case declared him a “sexually violent predator.” That means he will have to receive monthly counseling for the rest of his life. And even if he is released from prison, authorities will have to notify neighborhoods and schools of his presence. A psychologist for the state testified that Cosby appears to have a mental disorder marked by an uncontrollable urge to have sex with women without their consent.
BILL COSBY – REACTION
Quotes from the hearing and reactions to Bill Cosby’s sentence of three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and molesting a Temple University athletics administrator at his suburban Philadelphia home:
“Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality, my open nature, and my trust in myself and others. …We may never know the full extent of his double life as a sexual predator but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over.” – Andrea Constand, in her victim impact statement.
“Who gets the last laugh, pal?” – Former model Janice Dickinson as she looked toward Cosby in the courthouse. She told jurors in April he gave her a pill he claimed would ease her menstrual cramps but instead left her immobilized and unable to stop an assault she called “gross.”
“No one is above the law. And no one should be treated disproportionately because of who they are, where they live, or even their wealth, celebrity or philanthropy. …I am not permitted to treat him any differently because of who he is, or who he was. …It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come.”- Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill.
“I believe it is important to point out that this has been the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States. …You know what this country has done to black men for centuries.” -Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
“We have now learned and will prove that Bill Cosby was denied his right to a fair trial because the DA of Montgomery County, Kevin Steele, used falsified evidence against him.” -Cosby’s wife, Camille. Steele rejected the allegation.
“For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune. He’s hidden behind a character created, Dr. Cliff Huxtable. …He used his acting skills and an endearing TV personality to win over his victims and then keep them silent. Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison.” – Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.
“This has been a long journey to justice for all of the accusers. …We’re glad that judgment day has finally come for Mr. Cosby.” – Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of his accusers.
“There is solace, absolutely. It is his fame and his fortune and his phony philanthropy that has allowed him to get away with impunity. Maybe this will send a message to other powerful perpetrators that they will be caught and punished.” – Lili Bernard, who said Cosby sexually assaulted her before giving her a one-time role on “The Cosby Show” in 1992.
“I did think that I didn’t care if he went to prison or hell, but I did care. …It’s hard to describe. I can’t say euphoria, it wasn’t happiness, but a tremendous relief that justice was served.” – Cindra Ladd, a model-turned-Hollywood executive who says Cosby gave her a pill that incapacitated her and then raped her in 1969.
“He did not care how old I was. I was young and innocent and only 17 years old. …Why should he receive mercy just because he is 81 years old?” Chelan Lasha, who says Cosby assaulted her after giving her a pill in 1986.
“Today a PA court deemed (hash)BillCosby a Violent Sexual Predator b4 sentencing him. For decades people maligned &decried his accusers as LIARS. It took 60+ accusers 2 finally bring his survivors justice & vindication.” – Debra Messing, via Twitter.
“What happens when we hold people accountable for their abuses of power.” – Alyssa Milano, who posted video on Twitter of Cosby being led away in handcuffs.
“The stars only commemorate the recipient’s professional accomplishments. It is regrettable when the personal lives of inductees do not measure up to public standards and expectations; however, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce does not remove stars from the Walk of Fame.” – Statement from Hollywood Walk of Fame on why Cosby’s star will remain.
“The women who shared their stories in the Cosby trial and sentencing showed admirable courage and strength. …Let’s hope that the legacy of this case is that victims feel empowered to come forward, knowing that it can truly make a difference in bringing perpetrators to justice.” – Jodi Omear, vice president of communications at the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN.
“Bill Cosby seeing the inside of a prison cell sends a strong message that predators – no matter who they are, from Hollywood to Wall Street to the Supreme Court – can no longer be protected at the expense of victims.” -Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW-NY.
“The successful criminal prosecution of Bill Cosby will have an immeasurable positive impact on countless generations to come.” – Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who has represented many hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims since the 1990s.
WILL SMITH MARKS 50TH BIRTHDAY WITH GRAND CANYON-AREA JUMP
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER GORGE, Ariz. (AP) – It looked like a scene of a movie that might star Will Smith. But it was really a way for the actor to celebrate his 50th birthday. Smith executed a bungee jump from a helicopter near the Grand Canyon. He was hooked to a harness and bungee cords over a gorge in northeastern Arizona before letting himself drop. Smith was accompanied to the site by his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and his three children – and his former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro interviewing Smith after the jump.
REALITY SHOW STAR THOMAS RAVENEL ARRESTED
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say reality show star Thomas Ravenel has been arrested. Police in Charleston, South Carolina took him into custody after a former nanny said he sexually assaulted her nearly four years ago. Ravenel is charged with misdemeanor second-degree assault and battery after the nanny said Ravenel tried to take off her clothes at his home, then pulled down her pants and fondled her. Ravenel had been featured on “Southern Charm,” a reality show that is on Bravo. The network says he will no longer appear on the show. If convicted, Ravenel faces up to three years in prison.
“MURPHY BROWN” POISED FOR RETURN
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The star of “Murphy Brown” says if there’s one word that describes the rebooted sitcom – it’s “fearless.” Candice Bergen has said during the taping of the season debut she said she told a fellow cast member “this show has no fear of anyone.” The show’s producer says among the topics the show will tackle are immigration, the midterm elections and the (hash)MeToo movement. Diane English says the series is “here to make some noise.” Will it make noise with viewers? We get to find out starting tomorrow night when the show returns to the airwaves (9:30 p.m. EDT on CBS).
CBS NAMES INTERIM REPLACEMENT FOR LES MOONVES
NEW YORK (AP) – CBS has named an interim chairman of the board to replace Les Moonves. The company has tabbed media industry veteran Richard Parsons to hold down the post as it tries to reshape its upper command after Moonves’ ouster. Parsons is the former chairman of Time Warner and Citicorp. Moonves resigned just after six women joined others who had previously accused the long-time television executive with sexual misconduct.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2