Bill Cosby has issued his first public statement since his sudden release from prison on Wednesday following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturning the once-beloved sitcom star’s rape conviction after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.
As Deadline reports, Cosby initially let spokesperson Andrew Wyatt and his lawyers do the talking during what was billed as a press conference.
Cosby — who is now legally blind — smiled as Wyatt declared “vindication” for the comedian.
“On this hot day, this is a hot verdict for us that we will forever cherish because we got one of the greatest, or the greatest entertainer alive today, Mr. Bill Cosby, this great American citizen,” Wyatt hyperbolically proclaimed.
Asked how he felt to be returning home after spending more than two years behind bars, Cosby said nothing while one his attorneys responded for him, stating that “he is extremely happy to be home… it’s really a blessing for him. He says his heart is just beating really fast.”
BREAKING: Bill Cosby is asked how it feels to be home following release from prison earlier today.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2021
Cosby subsequently issued a statement on Twitter.
“I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence,” Cosby tweeted. “Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”
I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.
Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law. #BillCosby pic.twitter.com/bxELvJWDe5
— Bill Cosby (@BillCosby) June 30, 2021
Despite Cosby’s proclamation of innocence, his conviction was overturned on a technicality, when the majority of justices in the state Supreme Court ruled that the current District Attorney of Montgomery County didn’t have authority to prosecute because the previous DA had made an informal deal not to pursue criminal charges against Cosby back in 2005.
DA Kevin Steele issued a statement Wednesday to say Cosby “was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.”
More than 60 women have come forward to share allegations that Cosby drugged and assaulted them after giving them drugged drinks, with the accusations spanning a period of several decades.