Bill Cosby plans to shoot in 2023, despite new sexual assault charges – National
Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby has said he plans to return to stand-up comedy with a comedy tour scheduled for 2023.
Cosby, 85, was released from prison last year after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his felony sexual assault charge, ruling that Cosby should never have been prosecuted under a deal he had concluded with a district attorney.
The only written evidence of such a promise is a 2005 press release from then-attorney Bruce Castor, though his successors say it is far from a lifetime immunity deal.
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In 2018, Cosby became the first celebrity convicted of sexual assault in the #MeToo era for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a college sports administrator. He served three years before being released.
Cosby spoke publicly about his plans to return to the comedy circuit during a Dec. 28 radio interview with Scott Spears on WGH Talk. Spears asked the comedian if he planned to return to the stage in 2023, to which he replied « yes ».
« Yeah, because there’s so much fun to be had in this storytelling that I do. »
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Cosby appeared to reference his incarceration and legal battles during the interview, saying, « When we quote and walk out of this mess, I know who my enemies are and I know why they are my enemies. »
« I respect people like you, » Cosby told Spears, « and others who had a clear perspective on what happened to me.
« When I get out of this, I feel like I’ll be able to play and be the Bill Cosby that my audience, in person, knows me to be. »
Cosby’s rep Andrew Wyatt confirmed to Variety and ET that the comedian is « looking into spring/summer to start his tour. »
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Reaction on Twitter to Cosby’s intention to start a tour has been mostly negative.
Earlier this month, five women filed new sexual assault charges against Cosby under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. Two of the plaintiffs are actors who have worked on The Cosby Show, Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl. The other three women are Jewel Gittens, Jeniffer Thomspon and Cindra Ladd.
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Bernard, who played Mrs. Minifield in The Cosby Showsaid Cosby drugged and raped her twice in 1990 and 1991. Tirl, who played a small role as a police officer on the show in 1989, alleges Cosby touched her inappropriately without her consent while she was in a box.
Two of the other women, Gittens and Ladd, say they were drugged and raped by Cosby. Thompson alleges that Cosby inappropriately touched her without her consent when she was 18.
Cosby denied the allegations through a statement from his reps.
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“Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegations against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.
Cosby has faced dozens of similar charges in recent years, with more than 50 women coming forward in 2014 and 2015 to say they were assaulted by the now-disgraced TV star.
Earlier this year, jurors in a civil trial found Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
The Los Angeles County jury returned the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $500,000.
— With files from Michelle Butterfield of Global News
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