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Bill Cosby’s Lawyers Play Race Card as Comedian Heads Back to Court

Star’s lawyers accuse Gloria Allred of trampling on his civil rights

As Bill Cosby sought to have evidence excluded in his criminal case at a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday, attorneys for the scandal-plagued comedian sought to attack one of Cosby’s biggest nemeses, attorney Gloria Allred.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Cosby’s lawyers took issue with Allred, who has supported a number of Cosby’s sexual assault accusers.

And they weren’t afraid to drag race into their argument, saying that Allred’s “campaign” against Cosby “builds on racial bias and prejudice that can pollute the court of public opinion.”

“Mr. Cosby is no stranger to discrimination and racial hatred, and throughout his career Mr. Cosby has always used his voice and his celebrity to highlight the commonalities and has portrayed the differences that are not negative — no matter the race, gender and religion of a person,” the statement began.

“Yet, over the last fourteen months, Mr. Cosby, and those who have supported him, have been ignored, while lawyers like Gloria Allred hold press conferences to accuse him of crimes for unwitnessed events that allegedly occurred almost a half century earlier,” the attorneys continued.

Allred has been a consistent thorn in Cosby’s side, most recently holding a news conference on Tuesday with a Cosby accuser to urge California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault in the state.

But in Tuesday’s statement, Cosby’s lawyers accused Allred of grandstanding to the detriment of Cosby’s civil rights.

“The time has come to shine a spotlight on the trampling of Mr. Cosby’s civil rights. Gloria Allred apparently loves the media spotlight more than she cares about justice.  She calls herself a civil rights attorney, but her campaign against Mr. Cosby builds on racial bias and prejudice that can pollute the court of public opinion,” the attorneys said. “And when the media repeats her accusations — with no evidence, no trial and no jury — we are moved backwards as a country and away from the America that our civil rights leaders sacrificed so much to create.”

Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, many of whom claimed that he drugged them beforehand.

The comedian has denied the allegations, and in some cases has sued his accusers.

Cosby appeared in court on Tuesday in an effort to have key evidence against him dismissed in the criminal case against him in Pennsylvania. Cosby has been charged as the result of claims made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who claims that the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004.

A tentative trial date was set for June 5, 2017, pushed back from this fall due to what Judge Steven O’Neill called the “extraordinarily overbooked” schedule of the comedian’s main defense lawyer.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.