2018 YEAR IN REVIEW – COMMENTARY: The Cosby Trial
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
If it wasn’t the most read story of the year, the trial of comedian and former “America’s Dad,” Bill Cosby – along with his conviction, sentencing and appeal – likely proved the most written about.
With its coverage of the Cosby case’s unbelievably biased and mischaracterized reporting, mainstream media outlets provided clear examples of the combustible President Donald Trump’s catch phrase: “Fake News.”
When speaking with African Americans in position to potentially influence public perceptions, the Black Press found they too were misled because of heavy reliance on the coverage of mainstream.
Most Americans believe that Cosby’s civil deposition was his admission of plying women with unwanted Quaaludes and then sexually assaulting them. However, most Americans were not in the courtroom from jury selection to verdict – in both trials. And relatively few heard every bit of testimony or read Cosby’s earlier civil deposition.
When viewed in its entirety, the 87-page civil disposition document is rich with consistent denials of wrongdoing by Cosby and explanations of events that were never reported by mass media, including that he and Andrea Constand had engaged in an ongoing consensual relationship, one which Cosby desperately hid from his wife of more than a half-century.
When asked in the deposition, by Constand’s lawyer, Delores Troiani, about Quaaludes and why he received a prescription for them in the 1970s, Cosby answered:
“What was happening at that time was that that was – Quaaludes — happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case.”
Jimmy “JJ” Walker, the former “Good Times” star who co-starred with Cosby and screen legend Sidney Poitier on the film, “Let’s Do it Again,” said “everyone was using Quaaludes in the 1970s. Women wanted them, and men wanted them.”
Troiani next asked, “Did you ever give any of those young women the Quaaludes without their knowledge?” Cosby answered, “No.”
With headlines and newscasts leading stories with “Cosby Admits to Drugging Women,” and “Cosby Admits he Plied women with Quaaludes for Sex,” the general public continues to inaccurately believe that the fallen star admitted to secretly and repeatedly “slipping a mickey” to women in order to engage in sex with them.
However, the deposition reveals that women he offered Quaaludes to, knew what they were taking and readily accepted the drug. One woman who testified against Cosby at trial said she’d even taken a Quaalude prior to going to Cosby’s house because she, “wanted to get in the mood.”
Constand, the only Cosby accuser whose accusations have led to criminal trial, was actually never offered Quaaludes, yet testimony to the contrary was inexplicably admitted by the judge and exploited by the district attorney.
Further, and perhaps more troubling, is what’s in the deposition but was not reported by mainstream media, are the details of the night in question between Cosby and Constand.
Cosby explains to Costand attorney Troiani, that on the night in question, he and Constand engaged in consensual foreplay. They spoke of her anxiety and trouble sleeping and he offered her Benadryl to help her to relax, not Quaaludes. Afterwards, according to Cosby’s own words in the deposition, they proceeded to “have a necking session.”
They kissed passionately, she “got on top of me, and we necked,” he said – none of which was found in the heavily redacted version that Troiani and District Attorney Kevin Steele have spoken about and that the mainstream media reported. It was also redacted at trial and never heard by the jury.
Cosby told Troiani that Constand removed her hand from his penis and used her hand to shove Cosby’s hand further down her pants. “She was moaning,” Cosby said. “She did not stop me, and I want to go,” he said.
Following the encounter, Cosby prepared a blueberry muffin for Constand and her favorite red zinger tea which she bit a piece of the muffin and sipped the tea. “I feel a glow. I feel that Andrea has a glow about our sexual moment. She is now facing me and facing the living room,” Cosby said.
“I walk her out. She does not look angry. She does not say to me, don’t ever do that again. She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff … And, she went out the door and went to the car. I said to Andrea, call me when you get home.”
Contrary to what’s been reported and what Constand testified at trial, she never went to sleep and was never unconscious. Further, Cosby discussed the various times he and Constand, without the use of a Benadryl tablet, had engaged in kissing and petting.
In describing the relationship, Cosby told Constand’s attorney how her client wanted “to do something about her – I say behind – but she says, butt. She wanted to tighten up her butt and have a great butt… we were able to talk about exercises and things like that.”
When asked whether he thought Constand had “grandfatherly feelings” toward him, Cosby said no.
When Troiani asked why not, Cosby responded:
“She didn’t ask for a quarter or to sit on my lap. I have no idea what you’re talking about. You don’t grab your grandfather’s penis and massage it.”
Bob Law of the National Black Leadership Alliance appealed to African Americans not to be hood-winked by Cosby’s conviction.
“Before you rush to judgment on Bill Cosby be aware of the American Standard of Justice that is rooted in white supremacy and white privilege. The news accounts that he confessed were fake. Actually, according to spectators in the court room, there were so many contradictions, suppressed testimony as well as breach of process in jury selection, including the prohibited opening of a sealed deposition; that in reality there was no trial,” Law said in a letter signed and endorsed by the alliance and other civil rights activists.
“Bill Cosby was tried and convicted without any actual evidence that his ‘crimes’ had ever been committed, no police reports, no medical records, no collaborating witnesses, just the accusations of white women recalling events that occurred 30 years in the past. And that is in opposition to the legal principle that the accuser cannot bring the action and also be the witness without any collaborating evidence,” Law said.
Since the conviction and subsequent sentencing in September, Cosby’s wife Camille has written two op-eds for BlackPressUSA.com, one calling on African Americans to get to vote in the midterm election and the other about racism, hate groups and voting rights.
In each, she condemned her husband’s prosecutors and the judge.
“Our ancestors fought for the right to [vote]. They were jailed, were beaten, were killed for fighting for our right to vote. Yet, too often, we do not exercise that most important right. We overlook the mid-term elections because we forget how greatly they can impact our lives,” Camille Cosby said.
“But, as I learned from [Montgomery County District Attorney] Kevin Steele’s election in 2015, a corrupt politician at any level is a danger to the American people, and even more so when that politician has promised to act in service of his own toxic ambitions and racial hatred,” she said.