Bill Cosby Responds to Rape Allegations As He Works With Alabama Education Group: "Reality is the Situation"
In an interview on 'Good Morning America' with the leaders of an organization that invited Cosby to raise awareness about underfunded schools in Alabama, the embattled comedian finally addresses the barrage of accusations that he drugged and sexually assaulted more than 30 women.
Bill Cosby has finally addressed the barrage of rape allegations that have plagued the comedian in recent months, as more and more women have claimed he drugged and sexually assaulted them.
In an interview with Good Morning America that aired with little promotion on Friday, Cosby said he was baffled by the scandal.
"I have been in this business over 52 years and I have never seen anything like this," he said. "Reality is the situation. And I can't speak."
Cosby was joined for his interview by the leaders of the Black Belt Foundation, who invited Cosby to bring awareness about the state of underfunded schools in rural Alabama. The sit-down seemed designed to discuss his work with the organization, but GMA aired only the portions of the interview that involved questions about the sexual-assault allegations. More of the interview is set to air on ABC's Nightline on Friday night.
In the interview with GMA's Linsey Davis, Cosby said he's not sure if people will come to him with questions about whether the allegations are true, but he encouraged people to focus on his message, not the person delivering it.
"I am prepared to tell this young person about life ... I think that many of them say, 'Well you're a hypocrite," he said of his critics. "My point is, 'OK, listen to me carefully, I'm telling you where the road is out. I'm telling you where as you're driving you're going to go into water, and it looks like it may only be three inches but you and your car are going to go here. Now, you want to go here or you want to be concerned about who's giving you the message?' "
Although Cosby's legal team has issued a number of denials as more women have claimed he attacked them, the comedian himself has remained silent on the matter, apart from one quick, surprise interview with a New York Post reporter. And Cosby's team has repeatedly said he wouldn't address the allegations. It's unclear why Cosby suddenly decided to address the allegations and do so during this GMA interview.
But the scandal already made the Black Belt Foundation think twice about inviting him, the organization admitted on GMA.
"At the end of the day, what was most important was, 'How do we make sure the Black Belt children matter?' " the foundation's president, Felecia Lucky,said on GMA.
Cosby is speaking to high-school students in several poor areas of Alabama as part of the nonprofit Black Belt Community Foundation's new campaign to improve education in the part of the state named for its black soil that is plagued by low income and high unemployment.
On Friday, Cosby will meet students at Selma High School before walking with them across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the historic 1965 voting-rights march.
When asked what he would like his legacy to be, Cosby shook his head as if to indicate that he wasn't thinking that far in the future.
"I really know about what I'm going to do tomorrow," he said. "I have a ton of ideas to put on television about people and their love for each other."
Cosby had been working with NBC on a new family comedy before the network decided not to move forward with the show as the allegations against the comedian mounted.
Watch Cosby's interview with GMA below.
More to come…