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Cosby’s Team Alleges Racism and Sexism, Calling Him Victim of a ‘Sex War’

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After Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison on Tuesday, his defense team made fiery accusations of racism and sexism in statements outside the courthouse, framing their client’s downfall as an unjust product of the #MeToo era.

Speaking under an umbrella in pouring rain, Mr. Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, said his client’s defeat was part of the “sex war” happening in Washington, comparing it to accusations of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh that are roiling the capital.

Mr. Wyatt said that Mr. Cosby, once a beloved actor and comedian, had endured the “most racist and sexist trial” in the country’s history.

On Tuesday, Mr. Cosby, 81, was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman, Andrea Constand, at his home outside Philadelphia in 2004. Judge Steven T. O’Neill also ruled that Mr. Cosby qualified as a “sexually violent predator” under state law.

Mr. Cosby’s lawyers have said they will appeal the case.

In his statement outside the courthouse, Mr. Wyatt called Mr. Cosby one of the “greatest civil rights leaders” in history and one of the “greatest educators of men and boys,” and accused the mainstream media of waging a smear campaign.

Mr. Wyatt went so far as to compare his client to Jesus.

“They persecuted Jesus, and look what happened,” he said. “Not saying Mr. Cosby is Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.”

Ebonee Benson, another of Mr. Cosby’s publicists, read a statement from Camille Cosby, Mr. Cosby’s wife, who was notably missing from the sentencing hearing. The statement accused prosecutors of relying on an audio recording of a 2005 conversation between Mr. Cosby and Gianna Constand, the mother of Andrea Constand, which the defense contends was doctored to exclude information that could have exonerated Mr. Cosby.

She was referring to an article this month in The Philadelphia Tribune, a newspaper serving the city’s African-American community, which reported that an unnamed official in the Montgomery County Court said that the audio recording was edited to omit information that would have helped Mr. Cosby’s case.

In Mrs. Cosby’s statement on Tuesday, she accused Kevin R. Steele, the Montgomery County district attorney, of using the “inauthentic” recording in both trials to convince the jury of Mr. Cosby’s guilt.

In a news conference after the sentencing hearing, Mr. Steele dismissed their claims, saying the motion was “more than a Hail Mary pass” by the defense, but that it was nothing new.

Mr. Cosby’s defenders have previously made accusations of racism in responding to the twists and turns of his legal battle. In May, after Mr. Cosby was convicted of sexual assault, Mrs. Cosby compared her husband to Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old who was lynched in 1955 after being falsely accused of leering at a white woman.

Mrs. Cosby said in a statement at the time that not all accusers are truthful, and that the Tills case was emblematic of that. She also claimed Ms. Constand’s testimony was filled with “innumerable, dishonest contradictions.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Wyatt, the publicist, alleged that three psychologists who testified in the trial were seeking to “make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators.”

Assessing Mr. Cosby’s mental state played a central role in the first day of the sentencing hearings. Mr. Cosby’s defense lawyer, who was pushing for his client to be granted house arrest, argued that his client’s age and legal blindness meant he would pose no risk to others.

But a state psychologist, Kristen F. Dudley, said Mr. Cosby seemed to have a personality disorder that pushed him toward initiating nonconsensual sex, and she did not believe that disorder had faded with age.

Graham Bowley contributed reporting from Norristown, Pa.


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