Evin Cosby, the youngest of Bill Cosby’s five children, posted a passionate defense of her father on his official Facebook page Wednesday, assailing his “public persecution,” and denouncing the “cruelty” of the media and his accusers who have branded him a “‘rapist’ without ever knowing the truth”.
“When people are so quick to cast hate and make accusations of horrific violence against my dad, they are callous in their carelessness about the harm they are causing to others,” she wrote. “Instead of going through the criminal justice system, these stories never got investigated and just got repeated. They have been accepted as the truth.” Bill Cosby, 79, tweeted links to his daughter’s statement on his Twitter account.
Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby and his legal team defending him on criminal sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania, confirmed to USA TODAY that Evin Cosby’s post is legitimate but declined to answer questions about why she is speaking out now.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin next month for Cosby’s June trial on charges he drugged and molested Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004. He has denied the charges, saying the encounter was consensual.
This is the second time Evin Cosby has spoken out to defend her father since October 2014, when dozens of women began coming forward to accuse him of sexual assault in episodes dating back to the 1960s. But it’s the first time any of Cosby’s close relatives (he has four adult daughters; a son, Ennis, was killed in 1997) has issued a statement since the criminal charges were filed in late 2015.
Evin Cosby, a 40-year-old mother of two, dismissed her father’s accusers as “several women” and claimed their stories “never matched up”. She wrote that her father has been branded guilty in the court of public opinion and that the fallout has “punished not just my dad, but every one of us”.
She characterised the accusations against him as “things that supposedly happened 40 or 50 years ago, before I was born, in another lifetime, and that have been carelessly repeated as truth without allowing my dad to defend himself and without requiring proof”.
“We get all sorts of mixed-up messages in our society,” she wrote. “We are told that we have fundamental rights to be innocent until proven guilty. But, if enough people think you are a bad person, you are branded a bad person and the media just reinforces that. My dad, like anyone in this country, deserves to be treated fairly under the law.”
She described her childhood as happy, and her father as loving. As a grandfather, she says Cosby is helping to raise her children and teach them family values.
“I know that my father loves me, loves my sisters and my mother (Camille). He loves and respects women. He is not abusive, violent or a rapist,” she wrote. “Sure, like many celebrities tempted by opportunity, he had his affairs, but that was between him and my mother. They have worked through it and moved on, and I am glad they did for them and for our family.”
She wrote she once believed the worst nightmare for her family was the day her brother was murdered.
“It’s so hurtful to this day. I try to block out the day he was killed, but that pain has only worsened in these last years. For some reason, my family’s pain has been a trigger for people to seize upon us harder.”
She complained that her father’s efforts to defend himself, and those of his attorneys, resulted in lawsuits against them. She accused the media of refusing to publish supportive statements from her father’s defenders.
“People were constantly reaching out to me about, ‘Why doesn’t your dad say something?’ I kept saying, ‘He’s trying, but the media is only interested in the stories of the women.’ Friends of ours tried to help, but the media wouldn’t print what they said or knew. Our friends that spoke up were pressured to shut up. No one wanted to print their supportive words.
“We live in a scandalous country where the more sexualised and provocative the story, the more attention it gets,” she wrote.
Cosby ended by writing that she was pleased that some of the lawsuits filed against her father by accusers in civil court have been dismissed.
“I just hope that those who pre-judged my dad are now willing to admit that they were wrong.”