The day has finally arrived. Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial began on Monday morning. The trial, which is expected to take about two weeks, is already being closely watched by the press and public alike.
Cosby is clearly already trying to gain favor with the judge and jury by painting himself in a sympathetic light. By arriving at the Norristown, Pennsylvania, courthouse with a former Cosby Show co-star Keshia Knight Pulliam, Cosby made it known that he had big supporters in his corner. Rumor has it that Cosby’s TV wife, Phylicia Rashad, will be making an appearance later at Cosby’s trial.
According to Cosby’s spokesperson, his defense team will be making good use of witnesses who praise his character. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, whose fundraising gala was attended by Cosby in 2013, will show up in the form of its president, Johnny Taylor. Ahead of Taylor’s court appearance on Cosby’s behalf, Cosby’s spokesperson told the press why Taylor was involved.
“[Taylor] feels Mr. Cosby has done so much for historically black colleges over his career and it’s important for him to show that support and say ‘Thank you’ because he has not been found guilty of anything,” Cosby’s spokesperson said. “They’re coming in to hear the truth. [Knight-Pulliam] feels the same way. She’s not here to proclaim guilt or innocence. She’s here to finally hear the truth for herself in the courtroom. She wants people to stop listening to the sensationalism and come hear the truth.”
Cosby has a lot to overcome. He’s been accused of sexual assault by some 60 different women, though only Andrea Constand and one other will be allowed to testify at his trial. Jurors will, however, hear parts of a damning 2005 deposition from a prior settlement with Constand in which Cosby admitted to drugging women for sex.
The 79-year-old comedian and actor faces up to 10 years behind bars. If convicted, that means Cosby could very well spend the rest of his life in prison.