No one believed the day would ever come that Bill Cosby would be walking in and out of a courtroom charged as a criminal.
But that day was yesterday in a small Pennsylvania township.
Bill Cosby turned himself into police station, was advised of the charges against, finger printed and released on $1M bail.
You can’t write this stuff.
The man who broke barriers in the entertainment industry in the 1960’s with stand-up comedy and “I Spy;” the man who carried that success into the 1970’s with “Fat Albert,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Let’s Do It Again;” then became a household name worldwide in the 1980’s and 90’s as Cliff Huxtable in “The Cosby Show” is now experiencing a fall from grace that may be even more stunning than his meteoric rise to fame and fortune.
The Montgomery County Pennsylvania DA Kevin Steele announced the charges against Mr. Cosby on Wednesday at a press conference.
“Mr. Cosby has been charged with aggravated indecent sexual assault. This is a felony in the first degree. Mr. Cosby’s attorney has been notified of the charges.”
The charges stem from an alleged assault that occurred at Cosby’s home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania in early 2004.
Steele says new information came to light in July of 2015.
That new information came through the unsealing of a deposition of a prior case that had already been settled.
Cosby’s attorneys had contended that the deposition remain sealed because Cosby should be afforded the same level of privacy afforded to any other American citizen.
The judge disagreed, writing that Cosby had “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy” by giving certain speeches and by giving interviews like this one to me in 2013, which was cited in the judge’s decision to unseal the deposition.
Here is Cosby in that interview responding to my question about where new leaders should come from in the African American community.
“I think it has to come from the same place. I think it has to come from the universities. I think women, strongly because when you see 70% in research that says they’re the leaders of the household. What we need for people to realize, I want to raise my kids, I want to go back and get my three kids. I want to take on that responsibility. I want to love my children. Every loud voice you hear yelling about something and saying you lost us. You became a millionaire. The reason I’m giving you this information is because I was living in the projects, I was not taking care of myself in terms of not managing my education. Once the door opened and I saw quote unquote the light I started to become very successful.”
The judge also noted the infamous “Pound Cake” speech in front of the NAACP in 2004.
“These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! And then we all run out and are outraged: ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
In short, the judge made a determination that because Cosby held himself up as a moral authority, that by doing so, he had waived his right to privacy.
Had he not done that, meaning Cosby making those speeches and giving those interviews, the deposition probably would still be sealed and Cosby would not have been arrested.
In other words, when it comes right down to it, Cosby was done in by his own words publicly and privately.