Bill Cosby has spent 20 days in prison since being found guilty of indecent aggravated assault and being sentenced to three to ten years in prison which he is currently serving at State Correctional Institute Phoenix in Collegeville, Pa. The Informer reports that this past Monday, Cosby was surprised by his first visitors besides his attorneys: longtime publicists Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt.
The visit was arranged by Cosby’s wife and Benson and Wyatt were specific about who they wanted to share details with and why, disclosing the story exclusively to NNPA Newswire and radio host Frankie Darcell of WDAS and iHeart Radio in Philadelphia. The pair shared they wanted Cosby’s story to be a cautionary tale to all African-Americans about the perils of the criminal justice system. Wyatt also shared that the media continues to churn our fictional stories about the time Cosby has spent in prison and that headlines referring to Cosby being attacked with a chicken patty by other inmates and other rumors are simply untrue:
“The staff has been nothing but professional and none of that stuff has happened.
“He said it’s just that the mainstream media is continuing its efforts to try and stop him from getting the facts out. He said to look at the facts, ‘I shouldn’t be here, but I’m here. But, I will be able to write about it, write music about it. They can put you away, but they can’t take away your memory, your life experience.’”
Wyatt shares that what is true is Cosby is using this opportunity to engage his fellow inmates in his musings on social justice:
“He has been able to speak with other inmates about their situation and impart advice. Mr. Cosby loves hearing other stories of the inmates whom he calls residents. It’s that psychology part of him that takes them into his laboratory. He tells them, ‘You don’t have to swear or curse, this is what you do.’ He’s doing what he always have on the lecture circuit.”
Wyatt also disclosed Cosby is taking heed to the words of activists like Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela and believes he isn’t serving time for rape as much as he is for infidelity:
“Mr. Cosby said Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela helped him prepare for this chapter of his life.”
“He said they told him that if he was going to continue to fight for civil rights, something like this was bound to happen and he’s been prepared for it and he knows he’s in prison not for rape, but for infidelity. He knows he’s innocent and he’s kept his head up.”
Wyatt went on to back his client sharing that Cosby’s trial and sentencing is evidence that racism plays a huge part in the criminal justice system:
“He’s behind bars for infidelity. The reason he says and we say that this is bigger than Bill Cosby is, for other Black people, this could be your son, your father, your family member. They are trying to change the laws. Sexual assault is the only crime you can be convicted of with no evidence and no proof and we’ve seen the justice system and how it works with recent major things happening with [Supreme Court Justice] Brett Kavanaugh, or Harvey Weinstein.”
“The judicial system is not the same for people of color. This is about civil rights. If people don’t start paying attention, a lot more freedoms are going to be taken away. Remember, just last week a white woman accused a little black boy of sexual assault. Pay attention. Stay woke.”
In the meantime, Wyatt assures that despite the rumors, Cosby’s few weeks in prison have been relatively routine and he’s abiding by the rules. The prison is fairly new, so despite being surrounded by concrete walls, Cosby has access to hot showers and has been assigned a cane and a trustee due to his blindness:
“He said the bed lies on thick steel or concrete and he’s allowed to make phone calls, but he’s still being assessed right now so he’s not in general population.”
“He follows the rules and respects the guards. They’ve given him a cane and, because he’s blind, they have a trustee to help him.”
Benson shared that her client has grown a full beard and looks good, despite the circumstances. Wyatt shares that even in his old age, Cosby is still coherent and aware of the situation:
“He’s sharp and he talked about what his team is doing on the outside and his wife, who has been so supportive.”
“He’s doing great, disregard what you’re reading. We want people to really know that this man is an American citizen and he hasn’t been treated like an American citizen.