Bill Cosby and the Year of the Hypocrite

As for Mr. Cosby, he retained his image as cardigan-ed father figure for decades after “The Cosby Show” went off the air in 1992. The real-life Mr. Cosby went further, fashioning himself as a moral scold and frequently criticizing the black community for falling short of his ideas of virtue. In a 2004 speech to the NAACP he went after out-of-wedlock births, deadbeat dads, sagging pants and more.

The same year he gave that now notorious speech, he invited Ms. Constand to his Philadelphia mansion. When she arrived he gave her what he called three “friends” — herbal pills, he said, that would help her relax. (It’s the same word that Sweeney Todd uses for his razors before he slits the throats of his victims). Then Mr. Cosby allegedly assaulted her — putting his hands on her breasts and inside her vagina while she says she was incapacitated.

“I was unable to move my body. I was pretty much frozen,” she testified. Mr. Cosby admitted as much: “I go inside her pants,” he said. “I move my fingers. I do not talk. She doesn’t talk. But she makes a sound which I feel was an orgasm.”

Mr. Cosby’s rank hypocrisy was the justification Judge Eduardo C. Robreno gave in July 2015 for his decision to unseal documents to The Associated Press from Ms. Constand’s 2005 civil suit against him. Mr. Cosby’s lawyers made the argument their client was not a public person; Judge Robreno argued that he was — and not “by virtue of the exercise of his trade as televised or comedic personality” but because he had “donned the mantle of public morality and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box.”

In doing so, wrote the judge, Mr. Cosby has “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.” Mr. Robreno concluded that “the stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal)…

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