Bill Cosby broke his silence on Tuesday ― just three weeks before he stands trial for sexual assault ― after two years of not speaking publicly.
During a 30-minute interview on Sirius XM radio, host Michael Smerconish asked Cosby how he responds to the fact that at least 58 women have accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape.
“I think the numbers came because the numbers prior to [these] numbers didn’t work,” Cosby said, likely alluding to a few decades-old accusations that only recently gained traction. “The piling on, so to speak, is a way ― and certainly an impressive way ― to get public opinion to come to the other side.”
Smerconish, who is also a lawyer, asked Cosby if he could explain how so many women came to accuse him. “Are you telling me that they’re all lying?” he asked.
“You know better than that,” Cosby said. “I can’t and I won’t answer that. And the next thing I know the postman is carrying a big bag saying ‘defamation, defamation, defamation.’”
Cosby has already been sued for defamation by one accuser, but the suit was later dismissed.
Cosby will stand trial next month in Philadelphia over accusations he drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand, a former basketball coach at his alma mater, Temple University. He told Smerconish he wouldn’t take the stand.
Cosby gave carefully measured answers throughout the interview, saying jokingly that he didn’t want his lawyers upset with him.
Smerconish asked Cosby to respond to an audio clip provided by Cosby’s daughter, Ensa, in which she affirmed her father’s innocence and said “racism has played a large role” in the accusations against him.
“Could be,” Cosby said, when asked if he agreed with his daughter’s words.
“‘Nefarious’ is a great word,” he added. “I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”
Both black and white women have made allegations against Cosby, a fact the actor suggested was irrelevant because of systemic racism. He said that his family, including his wife, had been very supportive.
Cosby said he was speaking out so his supporters could hear from him directly.
“It’s time for me to do something so the people who still have faith in me, the people who are wondering,” he said. “As opposed to The National Enquirer, which is always very interesting when they write about me.”