Bill Cosby won't take the stand at his trial, says racism may be behind sexual assault allegations

The embattled comedian gave his first interview in two years ahead of his trial.

ByABC News
May 16, 2017, 1:47 PM

— -- Bill Cosby suggested that racism may be partly responsible for the dozens of sexual misconduct allegations that have been lodged against him.

In a 30-minute interview with Sirius XM radio host Michael Smerconish, the embattled comedian also revealed that he will not take the stand in his own defense when he faces one of his accusers in court next month. Jury selection in his trial is set to begin next week.

"I just don't want to sit there and have to figure out what I believe is a truthful answer as to whether or not I'm opening a can of something that I -- my lawyers are scrambling," he said.

Cosby, 79, broke his silence about the alleged sexual assault scandal for the first time in two years, just ahead of his trial. Cosby faces three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault stemming from an alleged encounter with accuser Andrea Constand in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty.

As a condition of the interview set by Cosby, Smerconish also broadcast statements from his daughters, Ensa and Erinn.

In her statement, Ensa said: "Racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal."

Asked if he agreed with Ensa's analysis, Cosby told Smerconish: "Could be. Could be. I can't say anything, but there are certain things that I look at, and I apply to the situation, and there are so many tentacles. So many different -- 'nefarious' is a great word. I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that."

When the radio host pointed out that Cosby's accusers have been both black and white, the comedian responded, "Let me put it to you this way -- when you look at the power structure, and when you look at individuals, there are some people who can very well be motivated by whether or not they're going to work. Or whether or not they might be able to get back at someone. So, if it's in terms of whatever the choice is, I think that you can also examine individuals and situations and they will come out differently. So, it's not all -- not every -- but I do think that there's some."

In addition to Constand, dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and/or drugging. He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Asked why if the allegations are false, so many women have spoken out against him, Cosby told Smerconish: "I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the numbers didn't work."

"So, the piling on, so to speak, is a way -- and certainly an impressive, impressive way -- to get public opinion to come to the other side," he added.

Smerconish then asked, "Are you telling me that they’re all lying?"

Cosby replied, "You know better than that," adding that he won't be opening himself up to a defamation suit.

Cosby was also asked how he would like to be remembered.

"Things were rescinded and I'd like to get those things back, because the people who decided to make the decision then saw they made a mistake," he said.

When Smerconish asked if he was referring to his current legal situation, Cosby responded, "Proof has to be brought to the front, period."

He added, "The old saying 'there are two sides to every story' unravels when you're dealing with lawyers."

Cosby's daughter Evin has previously spoken out in support of her father.

"He loves and respects women. He is not abusive, violent or a rapist," she wrote about her father in a statement obtained by ABC News last month.

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