Bill Cosby’s so-called town hall tour is unlikely to happen before his retrial on sex assault charges in Pennsylvania, one of his lawyers said Tuesday.
Lawyer Angela Agrusa said after a hearing to set a trial date in a sex abuse lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the comedian that she “can’t imagine” Cosby’s legal team would let him perform or speak publicly as representatives said he planned to do this summer.
“He doesn’t take lightly these criminal charges,” Agrusa said. “He would never do anything that undermined the importance of this issue. I don’t see him speaking publicly like that.”
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said by email that the legal team will not let him speak about sexual assault. He did not say if the public events would go forward.
Talk of the forums after a jury deadlocked in Pennsylvania in the criminal case sparked a backlash from groups that advocate for sexual assault victims and educate about sexual abuse.
Spokespeople for Cosby and his wife had said the forums — at least one planned in Birmingham, Alabama, next month when Cosby turns 80 — were aimed at educating young people how to stay out of trouble and be aware of changing sex assault laws.
After those plans were criticized, though, a spokeswoman said the meetings were never intended to be about sexual assault but an effort to restore Cosby’s legacy.
Cosby himself took issue Tuesday with the notion of a “sexual assault tour,” dismissing it as propaganda, though he left open the possibility of some future event.
“The current propaganda that I am going to conduct a sexual assault tour is false,” Cosby said in a statement. “Any further information about public plans will be given at the appropriate time.”
The comedian and actor once known as “America’s Dad” for his TV role on The Cosby Show as paternal Dr. Cliff Huxtable has had his reputation tarnished with accusations of sexual abuse by nearly 60 women.