Days after Bill Cosby’s representatives said he was planning on touring the country and appearing at town halls to speak with young people about sexual assault, one of those same representatives says that is not the case.
The Huffington Post reported that on Sunday, Cosby’s representative Ebonee Benson told CNN that the town hall meetings will not be about sexual assault.
“I just want to be clear. The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault. I will repeat. These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault,” she told CNN. “This went way beyond a comment made from an interview by my colleague (Andrew Wyatt, another Cosby representative), a day ago.
“When we initially talked about the town hall meetings, it was about restoration of legacy. Much to what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media,” Benson said. “This is another example of that. To take something that was 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’s statement comes after Benson and Wyatt appeared on Good Day Alabama on Wednesday and said that Cosby was planning town halls after a mistrial was declared in a sexual assault case against him from accuser Andrea Constand.
“We are now planning town halls. We’ll talk to young people,” Wyatt said on WBRC. “This is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. They need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing. It also affects married men.”
Wyatt clarified the remarks to The New York Times in an email the next day, saying that Cosby has received “hundreds of calls from civic organizations and churches requesting for Mr. Cosby to speak to young men and women about the judicial system.”
“These groups would like for Mr. Cosby to share that people in the judicial system can use their powers to annul deals for personal agenda and political ambitions,” he said.
Wyatt said that the speeches would be free.
The apparent change of plans comes after one of Cosby’s accusers, Linda Kirkpatrick, appeared on CNN on Saturday and compared Cosby’s town hall to serial killer and sex offender Jeffrey Dahmer, known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, hosting a cooking show.
“Him having a town hall meeting on educating people about sexual assault is the same as Jeffrey Dahmer hosting a town hall meeting on the joy of cooking, neither of which I will be attending,” Kirkpatrick said.
Prosecutors said they plan to retry Cosby after the mistrial was declared.