The similarities between Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson are so uncanny that they’re difficult to ignore. Both were social trailblazers in their day, African-American men who achieved great success and were accepted by the notoriously fickle, overwhelmingly white base that once set the standard for pop-culture relevancy.
Simpson and Cosby were each considered wholly “nonthreatening” by a country whose general populace has a fear of black men. The Juice was a welcome guest in homes across America as a commercial pitchman and sideline reporter on NFL Sundays, while the Cos provided wholesome life lessons coupled with belly laughs as Dr. Huxtable. That, of course, was all before shocking downfalls brought both careers to a screeching halt – tarnishing each man’s once sterling reputation. Read more »
Photo by AP/Matt Rourke.
In 2004, comedian Bill Cosby was honored by the NAACP as part of its 50th-anniversary celebration of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education ruling.
During an acceptance speech that’s now better known as the “pound cake” speech,” the comedian went off on the Black community in a rant that covered everything from children’s names to bad parenting to even the way Black children dressed.
He talked about a “culture of poverty” that Blacks chose to live in and how it was more responsible for the community’s ills than the institutional racism might be a part of one’s daily existence.
It was a tour de force of respectability politics, with bons mots like this: Read more »
Photo by AP/Matt Rourke.
It is never easy to learn that a long-held belief is incorrect.
Bill Cosby’s trial has forced America into a collective state of cognitive dissonance – the discomfort felt after learning information that is inconsistent with our perception of a situation, an idea, or, in this case, a person. We loved Bill Cosby, and we wanted him to reflect off-screen the ideals he represented on our televisions.
But he doesn’t. And the burden is on us to address this discomfort productively, rather than resolving it through denial. Guess which path Daily News columnist Christine Flowers took in a column on Tuesday. Read more »
Defense attorneys representing Bill Cosby have rested their case after the disgraced Philadelphia comedian opted not to testify at his trial on sexual assault charges in Montgomery County.
Cosby was flanked by his wife of 53 years as he entered the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown on Monday morning. The appearance marked the first for Camille Cosby – who has maintained her husband’s innocence – since the high-profile trial kicked off a week ago. Read more »
Photo by AP/Matt Rourke.
The trial of Bill Cosby, the once-beloved Philadelphia comedian, kicked off earlier this week as opening remarks began June 5 at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown. The former star of I, Spy and his own wildly-popular eponymous show has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting ex-Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
Constand’s case has so far been the only one to make it trial after dozens of women accused Cosby of engaging in similar behavior over the course of his illustrious career. The New York Times reports that some of the entertainer’s accusers have come to watch while Mrs. Cosby – who maintains that her husband is innocent –remained home.
Here’s a roundup of what you might’ve missed: Read more »
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives for a court appearance on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, in Norristown. Photo by AP
Flanked by one of his television daughters (a calculated move, no doubt), Bill Cosby flashed that trademark “I know something you don’t know” grin that sold untold numbers of Jello products worldwide as he strolled into the Montgomery County Courthouse on Monday morning for the first day of his much-anticipated trial on sexual assault charges.
You’d expect that an entertainer now vilified as much as he was once beloved would look a little more unnerved in advance of such a momentous trial, but the Cos does know something you don’t: He likely won’t be found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. Read more »
Photo via Michael Rougier/ The Life Picture Collection/ Getty Images
In the late summer of 1965, just before Bill Cosby’s espionage series I Spy debuted — with Cosby the first leading black man in a dramatic role to appear on network TV — a 17-year-old girl named Sunni Welles and her mother visited the Desilu set of the show. Sunni’s mother, a story editor at Paramount Studios and a talent agent, had gotten to know Cosby a bit; he’d broken through as a big-time comic a couple years earlier. He was a nice guy, funny and playful, especially with Sunni, whom he let sit in his chair with his name on the back.
Sunni herself was an aspiring singer and had already spent a good part of the preceding three years — since she was 14 — singing backup with various acts in Las Vegas and Carson City and other places.
Sunni’s mother couldn’t stay long, that day on the set of I Spy, but Cosby said Sunni didn’t have to leave; he’d look after her. What she says happened between the two of them is a story it’s taken half a century for her to be able to tell publicly. Read more »
Left: Michael Smerconish (via Twitter). Right: Bill Cosby (via Wikimedia Commons)
Bill Cosby doesn’t give interviews every day. In fact, he almost never gives an interview these days thanks to the litany of sexual assault allegations against him. Well, with his Montgomery County criminal trial rapidly approaching, Cosby decided to grant an interview … to Philly’s own Michael Smerconish. Read more »
Commonwealth v. Bill Cosby will be heard in front of a jury from around Pittsburgh.
Last month, a court ruled that the jury for Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial would not come from Montgomery County, where the case is being held.
Yesterday, Judge Steven T. O’Neill ruled the court jury will come from Allegheny County, about 300 miles away. Read more »
Bill Cosby arrives for a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown this morning | AP Photo: Matt Slocum
Update, 11:45 a.m.: Judge Steven O’Neill ruled today that the jury for Bill Cosby’s aggravated indecent assault will not come from Montgomery County — but the trial’s venue will remain in Norristown.
Cosby’s attorneys wanted a complete change of venue. Instead, jurors will come from a neighboring county, but the trial will remain in Montgomery County. Jurors will be sequestered after they’re selected.
Earlier: Bill Cosby is back in court again today.
The entertainer, charged with felony aggravated indecent assault, is in court today asking a judge to bring in jurors from outside Montgomery County. The decision to not charge Cosby when the allegations against him originally surfaced, in 2004, became part of the race for District Attorney in 2015.
As a result, Cosby and his lawyers say jurors from outside the county should serve on the jury for his trial. The AP reports prosecutors don’t oppose the motion. Read more »