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Bill Cosby Publicist: ‘Town Hall Meetings Are Not About Sexual Assault’

Variety logo Variety 6/25/2017 JD Knapp
© Provided by Variety

Bill Cosby’s spokesperson has denied that his upcoming town hall meetings will be about sexual assault. Instead, Ebonee Benson says the speaking tour is actually about restoring the formerly beloved “Cosby Show” actor’s legacy.

Benson stopped by CNN on Sunday to address the controversial town hall meetings put in place after Cosby’s infamous mistrial. A jury of seven men and five women were unable to come to a decision regarding Cosby’s alleged sexual assault against Andrea Constand a week ago. Judge Steven O’Neill declared the case a mistrial last Saturday after 52 hours of deadlocked deliberations.

While appearing on “CNN New Day Weekend” Sunday morning, Benson elaborated on the tour to co-host Christi Paul. “The town hall meetings are not about sexual assault,” she claimed. “I will repeat: These town hall meetings are not about sexual assault.”

“When we initially talked about the town hall meetings, it was about restoration of legacy,” Benson continued. “Much of what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement is the sensationalism brought on by the media. This is another example of that. To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man’s legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That’s what this is about.”

Fellow co-host Victor Blackwell then had the network play back video of Cosby publicist Andrew Wyatt that directly refuted Benson’s update, adding, “That does not match at all what she and her colleague told an interviewer on Thursday.”

“This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing,” Wyatt said previously.

“Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended,” added Benson originally. “So this is why people need to be educated. A brush against the shoulder, anything at this point, can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”

“They didn’t say anything about restoring his image in that,” Paul pointed out following the clip. “To be clear: This is not a media narrative. This came from Cosby’s publicity team.”

Cosby’s town hall meetings are scheduled to take place sometime in July. Attorney Kevin Steele announced he will be retrying the case against the legendary entertainer.

Related slideshow: The rise and fall of Bill Cosby (via Photo Services): Bill Cosby: From icon to accused

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