Convicted sex offender Bill Cosby claims trial was a "set up," says he feels no "remorse"

“When I come up for parole, they’re not going to hear me say that I have remorse,” Cosby says in a new interview

By Matthew Rozsa
November 26, 2019 4:52PM (UTC)
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Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse on the first day of sentencing in his sexual assault trial on September 24, 2018 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Claiming a “set up,” the disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby told the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s that he has no “remorse” for the violent crimes which landed him in jail for up to a decade.

“I have eight years and nine months left,” the man once known as “America’s Dad” said. “When I come up for parole, they’re not going to hear me say that I have remorse. I was there. I don’t care what group of people come along and talk about this when they weren’t there. They don’t know.”


Cosby was ruled a "sexually violent predator" and sentenced to three to 10 years in a Pennsylvania prison after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2018. Cosby's conviction marked the first of a prominent male celebrity in the #MeToo era.

He characterized the trial that led to his incarceration as “a set up” in the new interview, describing the jurors who convicted him as “imposters.” Cosby recalled a potential juror who overheard one of the seated jurors proclaim prior to the trial that “he’s guilty — we can all go home now.”

He added, “Then she went in and came out smiling. It’s something attorneys will tell you is called a payoff. I know what they’ve done to my people. But my people are going to view me and say, ‘That boy looks good. That boy is strong.’ I have too many heroes that I’ve sat with. Too many heroes whom I listened to like John Henrik Clarke, Kenneth Clark and Dorothy Height. Those people are very strong, and they saw the rejection of their people. This is political. I can see the whole thing.”


Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in 2018 that Cosby had "used his acting skills and an endearing TV personality to win over his victims and then keep them silent." He later added that “Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we saw the real man as he is headed off to prison.”

In her victim statement, Constand wrote that “when the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities. Now, almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged woman who’s been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward." She wrote that Cosby had “crushed” her spirit and robbed her of her “health and vitality,” open nature and ability to trust people.

One distinguishing feature of Cosby’s case was that allegations had been reported for years, but those stories never managed to make it into the mainstream. Nicole Weisensee Egan, a journalist who began covering Constand’s rape accusation for the Philadelphia Daily News back in 2005, told Salon in May that “when it all started bubbling up in 2014, I was literally sitting there going, ‘It's deja vu all over again!’ I reported all of this in 2005 and nobody cared.”


She later added, “That's what allowed him to do it for so many years. He was a great actor. It's astonishing, and it's horrifying at the same time. I totally get why people didn't want to believe this at first. I mean, I didn't want to either.”

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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All Salon Andrew Constand Bill Cosby Cosby #metoo News & Politics Rape Culture Sexual Assault Sexual Violence