Sexual harassment and assault

Bill Cosby’s publicist calls guilty verdict ‘a public lynching’, invokes Emmett Till, black teenager killed by racists in 1950s 

Cosby’s publicists continued to maintain that the former TV star has done nothing wrong in an interview on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 April, 2018, 3:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 April, 2018, 10:34pm

Bill Cosby’s guilty verdict for indecent assault was likened to a racist attack by his publicists on Friday, as they also made reference to Emmett Till, the black teenager who was murdered in 1955 in Mississippi after being falsely accused of flirting with a white woman. 

“This became a public lynching,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America, as he appeared alongside fellow publicist Ebonee Benson. Both continued to protest their client’s innocence after jurors convicted Cosby of three historic counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand on Thursday. 

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“You’re saying all these women, all 60 women, are lying?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“May I ask a question?” Benson replied. “Since when are all people honest? Since when are all women honest? We can take a look at Emmett Till, for example. Not all people are honest.”

Wyatt suggested that lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents more than 30 Cosby accusers, worked to help women fabricate allegations.

“What Gloria Allred was able to do, what she did, was take a salt and pepper shaker – she shaked out a lot of salt and sprinkled in a little black pepper,” Wyatt said. “And the south came east. And that’s what we saw.”

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Three of Allred’s clients were among the five women who took the witness stand at the trial and told jurors that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them.

Emmett Till was 14 and visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was lynched in August 1955, after a white woman claimed that he had grabbed her waist and made crude comments in an encounter at a grocery store. 

His killers were arrested and charged with murder, but acquitted by a jury of 12 white men. The following year, the defendants admitted the killing in a magazine interview.

Decades later, the woman spoke out and said her claims against Till were false.

One of Cosby’s lawyers, Kathleen Bliss, had also compared the accusations during her closing argument to a lynching – as well as a witch hunt and McCarthyism.

Constand, meanwhile, spoke out for the first time since the verdict by tweeting a thank you message to Montgomery County prosecutors. “Truth prevails,” she wrote.