In his first interview since he was sentenced to a state prison, Bill Cosby says he’s prepared to serve his 10-year maximum sentence for sexual assault rather than show remorse for a crime the comedian says he didn’t commit.
Cosby is serving three to 10 years in a state prison near Philadelphia after a jury last year convicted him of sexually assaulting a Temple University employee in 2014.
The 82-year-old comedian says he has “eight years and nine months left” and the Pennsylvania parole is “not going to hear me say that I have remorse.”
Legal experts say sex offenders typically must show remorse to be considered for parole.
“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 added, according to an article by the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s BlackPressUSA.com.
Cosby gave the website the interview from SCI Phoenix, which is a state prison near Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
He thinks because he won’t show remorse, it will be unlikely he’ll be released early.
Cosby referred to his small jail cell as “my penthouse,” adding that he’s a “privileged man in prison.”
Cosby told BlackPressUSA about his work with other inmates, working with them through a prison reform program called Mann Up, where he speaks to fellow prisoners about striving for self-respect and putting family first.
“I’ve got a wife and a family, and friends, not in prison, who are so happy that I have something, that my spirit is up,” Cosby said, according to the outlet.
“I go into my penthouse and I lay down and I start to think, now how can I repeat the message, and say it and give it to them on Saturday … so that they would hear it and feel it,” he said, referring to his sessions with the other inmates.
“I’m not a psychiatrist, and I’m not a psychologist. I’m an educator, and what I look forward to is talking to this group of 400 or so men.”
The Cosby Show star also said that he believes his trials were not fair.
“It’s all a setup. That whole jury thing. They were imposters,” he said.
In August, lawyers for Cosby asked a Pennsylvania appeals court to throw out his sexual assault conviction, arguing the trial judge committed errors that deprived him of a fair trial.
The appeal was centred on the decision by Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill to allow five accusers to testify that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them years previously, just as the victim at trial, Andrea Constand, claimed he had done.
In court papers, prosecutors have countered that the testimony proved Constand’s assault was the “culmination of a decades-long pattern of behaviour.”
“In each instance, defendant, a world-renowned entertainer, administered an intoxicant to a much younger woman in whom he had instilled trust and over whom he yielded power and influence,” the Montgomery County district attorney’s office wrote.
In June 2017, Cosby’s trial ended in a mistrial after the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict. The following April, when prosecutors tried him again, Cosby was convicted of sexually abusing Constand in 2004 after giving her unidentified pills that she testified left her semi-conscious.
—With files from the Associated Press and Reuters