Bill Cosby is fighting against “false” news reports that he is going to embark on a series of town halls that would touch upon sexual assault.
“The current propaganda that I am going to conduct a sexual assault tour is false. Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time,” Cosby said in a statement Tuesday.
The statement was sent out by the comedian’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, who previously revealed the plans for a series of “town halls” touching on the topic of sexual assault.
Wyatt initially spoke about the plans on WBRC’s “Good Day Alabama, but he didn’t provide any details.
“Mr. Cosby wants to get back to work,” Wyatt said. “We’re now planning town halls and we’re going to be coming to this city sometime in July … to talk to young people because this is bigger than Bill Cosby.”
Later, he clarified these statements after victim advocacy groups criticized the plans. In an email to the New York Times, Wyatt said the speeches would be free, and come in response to “hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches requesting for Mr. Cosby to speak to young men and women about the judicial system.”
However, Cosby’s publicist Ebonee Benson told CNN’s Christi Paul that the town halls wouldn’t be about sexual assault, but rather would be about the “restoration of legacy” after he was dragged by the media.
“To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man’s legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That’s what this is about,” Benson said.
Benson also echoed Wyatt’s later comments about how the lectures would be about the judicial system and what constitutes sexual assault from a legal standpoint.
“The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended,” Benson added. “So, this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. You know, anything at this point could be considered sexual assault. It’s very — it’s a good thing to be educated about the law.”
The town hall plan was introduced after Cosby’s criminal sexual assault trial ended in a mistrial. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said he intends to retry Cosby on three counts of aggravated sexual assault stemming from a 2014 encounter with former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand.
Cosby is scheduled to return to court in summer 2018 in a California civil sexual assault case. He is accused of sexually assaulting Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15 years old.