Bill Cosby's team backflips on public appearances
BILL Cosby's spokeswoman is walking back his camp's claims that the comedian will soon host town hall meetings on sexual assault education - saying the tour is really about "restoring his legacy."
"The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault," Ebonee Benson said on Sunday on CNN's New Day Weekend. "I will repeat: These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault."
Last week, Benson and another Cosby publicist, Andrew Wyatt, announced on a morning talk show that Cosby - fresh off the mistrial that was declared in his sex-assault trial - would tour the nation to give speeches to young people about the dangers of sex-crime allegations, reports The New York Post .
"This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they're facing when they're hanging out and partying, when they're doing certain things that they shouldn't be doing. And it also affects married men," Mr Wyatt said at the time.
But on CNN, Ms Benson blamed the apparent confusion over the speaking tour on "sensationalism brought on by the media."
"This went way beyond a comment made from an interview by my colleague a couple days ago. When we initially talked about the town hall meetings, it was about restoration of legacy," Ms Benson said.
"Much to what Mrs Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media. 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."
New Day host Christi Paul pointed out the discrepancy between the two spokespeople.
"So notice, they didn't say anything about restoring his image in that clip," Ms Paul noted on the show. "To be clear, this was not a media narrative. This came from Cosby's publicity team, on tape, replayed as you just saw."
Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on three counts of aggravated indecent assault after 52 hours of deliberations, causing a mistrial. Prosecutors said they will retry the TV pioneer.
This article first appeared in The New York Postand has been republished here with permission.