Comedian Bill Cosby has announced a nationwide tour of the United States that aims to teach men how to get away with sexually assaulting women.
Following the judge’s ruling of a mistrial in his sexual assault lawsuit, Cosby’s publicist Andrew Wyatt told Good Day Alabama that the TV star plans to “get back to work.”
“We’re now planning town halls and we’re going to be coming to this city [Birmingham] sometime in July … to talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby,” Wyatt told WBRC6. Rape allegations “can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing,” Wyatt said. “And it also affects married men.”
Patch.com reports: At the speaking events, Cosby plans “to talk to young people,” Wyatt explained, “because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person — especially the young athletes of today. They need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects, you know, married men!”
Another of Cosby’s reps, a woman (yes, a woman) named Ebonee Benson, then chimed in to back him up.
“Laws are changing,” she said. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So this is why people need to be educated on — a brush against the shoulder, you know, anything at this point can be considered sexual assault. And it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”
Cosby’s reps later told the New York Times that his town halls will be free and that they’ll be held at various civic organizations and churches who’ve requested he stop by.
A spokeswoman for anti-rape org RAINN suggested in a cutting response issued to the Times that it might be “more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place.”
Cosby has been on trial in Pennsylvania for allegedly slipping college basketball star Andrea Constand incapacitating pills in 2004 and penetrating her vagina against her will. However, the case ended last week in a “mistrial” due to a split jury.
The 79-year-old comedian has maintained his innocence throughout.
That’s becoming harder and harder to believe. In the words of the New Yorker:
The sheer number of Cosby accusers who have come forward, and the consistency of their descriptions of his modus operandi, are so overwhelming that they produce little doubt that Cosby used his fame and power to lure women, give them incapacitating drugs, and have sex with them without their consent. When one views Cosby and Constand as stand-ins in a narrative of rapists acting with impunity against powerless victims, it is tempting to consider the failure to convict Cosby as one of the highest-profile examples yet of assaulted women being disbelieved and devalued.