Bill Cosby’s spokesman has said he hopes to recoup damages for wrongful incarceration from the state of Pennsylvania, and accused attorneys for Cosby’s accusers of having ‘an ax to grind against black men.’
Cosby was released from prison on June 30 after serving two years behind bars, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his 2018 conviction for sexual assault, citing violations of his due process rights.
Now, his publicist Andrew Wyatt says that Cosby hopes to win ‘a couple hundred grand’ in compensation for the time he spend behind bars on the now-vacated conviction.
‘We are looking at what recourse, what legal recourse we can take against the state of Pennsylvania,’ Wyatt told The Domenick Nati Show in an interview on Friday. ‘We are looking at all legal angles for those things right now.’
Publicist Andrew Wyatt (right) says that Cosby hopes to win ‘a couple hundred grand’ in compensation for the time he spend behind bars on the now-vacated conviction
Bill Cosby stands next to his spokesman Andrew Wyatt and lawyer Jennifer Bonjean outside Cosby’s home after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his conviction on June 30
‘Isn’t he owed money for every day that he’s in jail or am I wrong?’ Nati, himself a celebrity publicist, asked Wyatt.
‘He’s owed money. It’s a lot of owed money,’ Wyatt responded. ‘Our attorneys are filing the paperwork now. He is owed a lot of money.’
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in February proposed paying anyone wrongly convicted $50,000 for every year spent in prison.
Previously, Pennsylvania did not offer compensation to former inmates who were wrongfully convicted.
The funds would potentially be available to exonerees, whose convictions were overturned on the basis of actual innocence, as well as convicts such as Cosby who had their convictions vacated on legal grounds.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show the actor sitting on his bed in his prison uniform
In the interview, Wyatt went on to levy scathing attacks against Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom, both attorneys who practice separately, but who both represent several of Cosby’s scores of accusers.
Wyatt called the probe into Cosby ‘the greatest ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ extortion scheme led by Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom’ and said he believes the case was ‘about money.’
‘I think her and her daughter have an axe to grind against black men,’ Wyatt added, going on to name several high profile sexual misconduct claims against black celebrities the two attorneys had participated in.
Bloom and Allred responded to Wyatt’s ‘extortion’ claim in sharply worded statements.
Attorney Gloria Allred stands with accusers of actor and comedian Bill Cosby after his original conviction on April 26, 2018
Allred’s daughter Lisa Bloom also represents several of Bill Cosby’s accusers
‘Mr. Wyatt, choose your words carefully,’ Bloom said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘I already scored one spectacular win against Bill Cosby in my defamation litigation after another of his reps spoke recklessly. Shall I file another?’ the attorney added.
Allred told Fox News that ‘any allegation of extortion is defamatory, and appears to be an attempt by Mr. Cosby’s representative to deflect attention away from the allegations by more than 60 women who have accused Mr. Cosby of victimizing them.’
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Is this a dream?’ Bill Cosby’s first words upon his release from jail are revealed as never-before-seen photos show him eating pizza, sitting on his bed in his prison uniform and enjoying life as a free man
By Laura Collins In Birmingham, Alabama, For Dailymail.com
He could have had anything money could buy. But after nearly three years of incarceration former inmate NN7687 didn’t want anything fancy.
Instead, on the day of his release, Bill Cosby just wanted to be in his own home, on his own sofa and eating a slice of his favorite pizza.
Taken within hours of Cosby, 83, getting out of prison these exclusive images obtained by DailyMail.com show a man elated in his freedom.
Sitting on his bed in Elkins Park, Pa., still in his prison uniform, or eating that simple tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza that he craved, they offer a never-before-seen glimpse of Cosby’s first moments of freedom following last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn his conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, 48, in 2004.
And now, in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Cosby’s friend and spokesperson Andrew Wyatt has shared the inside story of that release and the hours that followed.
He has given details of the actor and comedian’s reunion with his wife of 57 years, Camille; he has told of Cosby’s time in prison, and he has revealed Cosby’s plans for his life on the outside.
According to Wyatt, Cosby’s first words upon getting into the car that would take him from SCI Phoenix to his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania were, ‘Andrew, is this a dream?’
Exclusive photos show Bill Cosby’s first moments of freedom since he was released from prison last week eating simple tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza that he craved
Wyatt said Cosby’s first words while getting into the car that would take him from prison to his home in Pennsylvania were, ‘Andrew, is this a dream?’
Wyatt recalled, ‘He said, ‘Are you real?’ I said, ‘I’m real, touch me.’ He said, ‘Look, people can sometimes feel things in dreams.’ And I said, ‘Mr. Cosby this is real. You’re free.’
Wyatt recalled how Cosby shook his hand, told him he would ‘go down in history,’ for his work on his behalf and asked, ‘How does Mrs. Cosby sound?’
Twenty-four hours later Cosby was reunited with 77-year-old Camille. She and Cosby had spoken on the phone almost every day, but they had not seen each other since he left home on the day the jury came back with their guilty verdict at the end of his second trial in 2018.
Convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, Cosby had not wanted his wife, or daughters, to see him as a prisoner.
Wyatt described their reunion as, ‘like watching teenage love.’ He said, ‘The way she touched him and said, ‘Billy.’ He said, ‘My dear Camille.’
News of the Supreme Court’s decision came on Wednesday June 30. Wyatt recalled that when he first got wind of it, he kept it to himself. He said, ‘I didn’t tell anyone because it’s been a roller-coaster and so many people have come with information saying that he’s not going to be sentenced, he’s not going to be charged, he’s not going to be convicted…It’s emotionally and mentally draining.’
Wyatt wanted to be sure that it was true before breaking the news to Camille. When he did, she too struggled to wrap her mind around what she was being told.
He said, ‘I called Mrs. Cosby and said, ”You’re not going to believe this. They’ve vacated his entire conviction. They threw it out in perpetuity.” And she said, ”No, we need to check this.”’
At the time Camille was on her way from the family’s Massachusetts home to New York. Wyatt was already on the road to Pennsylvania and told her, ‘I’ll bring him to you.’
According to Wyatt, at that same moment Cosby was asleep in his cell, oblivious to it all.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Cosby’s friend and spokesperson Andrew Wyatt shared the inside story of his release and the hours that followed
Cosby is seen locking arms with Wyatt as he walked out to the media outside of his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania home last week just after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction
Wyatt described Cosby’s reunion with his wife as, ‘like watching teenage love. The way she touched him and said, ‘Billy.’ He said, ‘My dear Camille’
Cosby told Wyatt he had been in a deep sleep when guards opened his door and told him, ‘Get up. You’re free.’
Wyatt said, ‘He said, ‘I heard all these inmates shouting, kicking the doors, shouting ‘Get outta here Bill, Uncle Bill, the Godfather.’
Cosby is completely blind having lost his sight to glaucoma many years ago and told Wyatt, ‘I thought it was a fight going on. I don’t know what’s happening.’
A group out of Atlanta threw a ‘Welcome back Bill Cosby’ party on Sunday the 4th of July
Later that night Cosby admitted to Wyatt that he didn’t want to go to sleep for fear that when he woke up, he would find that it was all a dream after all.
It is seven months since the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania heard Cosby’s appeal on two grounds: the admissibility of a damaging deposition given by Cosby in civil proceedings brought by Constand and the decision by trial judge Steven O’Neill to permit five other women testify to allegedly similar ‘prior bad acts’ at his second trial in 2018.
O’Neill had only permitted one other accuser to testify at the 2017 trial which ended in mistrial, and he never gave any reason for his change of heart second time round.
When Constand first reported the alleged assault in 2005 the then Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor found her lacking in credibility. In the absence of any corroborating evidence, he concluded that a criminal prosecution would not succeed.
Castor issued a press release saying that the county would not bring criminal charges in a move intended to help Constand get ‘justice’ through a civil suit.
Without the spectre of criminal proceedings Cosby couldn’t plead the Fifth when deposed in an interrogation that took place over four days. In 2006 Constand received a civil settlement of $3.2million.
Last Wednesday, in an excoriating opinion, the Supreme Court described Castor’s successors’ – former DA Risa Ferman and current DA Kevin Steele – act of using Cosby’s civil depositions against him in a criminal trial, as a ‘bait and switch.’
The judges stated that the move had stripped Cosby of his Fifth Amendment rights twice over, harming him in the civil action and damning him in the criminal one.
They not only vacated his conviction but ensured that he would never again be prosecuted on charges relating to Constand.
Thwarted DA Steele has dismissed the Supreme Court decision as one based on, ‘a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the case.’
When Cosby entered prison, he weighed 215lbs. He now weighs 173lbs and, Wyatt said, Camille is determined to fatten him up. Cosby is seen looking worse for wear in his 2020 mugshot (right) compared to his 2018 mugshot (left)
Wyatt believes that prison saved Cosby’s life, because it was during his time behind bars that doctors’ concern over his soaring blood pressure led to the discovery of a 90 percent blockage in both his right and left carotid arteries
Today Wyatt pushed back describing Steele’s conduct as an ‘egregious abuse of [Cosby’s] constitutional rights and due process.’
He said, ‘The constitution is not a technicality…it was not given to us as a suggestion.’
And, where some have sought to draw a distinction between legal and moral guilt suggesting that being cleared of one does not equate to absolution of the other, for Cosby and his team the Supreme Court decision is nothing short of total vindication.
Wyatt said, ‘Look this man at 83 years old is [physically] and mentally strong. I always say that prison didn’t break Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby broke prison.’
Cosby refused to participate in any courses for the rehabilitation despite the fact that he would only be eligible for parole if he did so.
Now Wyatt said, ‘I think that was a strong message to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.’
Wyatt said that Cosby was ‘pressured every day’ to sign papers conceding to the program. But, he said, ‘Mr. Cosby was steadfast.’
He modeled himself on Nelson Mandela, Wyatt said, a man whom he met many years ago. The way Wyatt and Cosby see it he was a political prisoner too with his prosecution carrying undertones of racism in the desire to bring him down.
Cosby was prepared to serve out his time – a sentence of up to ten years – in SCI Phoenix’s general population rather than take any step towards accepting guilt.
He became involved in the Man Up program run by a fellow inmate to help offenders prepare themselves for life out of prison and, Wyatt said, he earned the respect and protection of his fellow prisoners in the process.
Wyatt said, ‘I would say he did the time in the proper way. He stayed healthy. He worked out in his cell, did leg lifts and crunches, sit-ups that sort of thing and tried to eat as healthy as possible.’
When Cosby entered prison, he weighed 215lbs. He now weighs 173lbs and, Wyatt said, Camille is determined to fatten him up.
In fact, Wyatt believes that prison saved Cosby’s life, because it was during his time behind bars that doctors’ concern over his soaring blood pressure led to the discovery of a 90 percent blockage in both his right and left carotid arteries.
Cosby refused to participate in any courses for the rehabilitation despite the fact that he would only be eligible for parole if he did which Wyatt said was, ‘a strong message to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.’
Supporters are seen outside of Cosby’s home in Pennsylvania the day of his release
There were also demostrators outside of Cosby’s residence who protested the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s motion to overturn the conviction
Cosby had two separate procedures to clear them in Fall 2019 and according to Wyatt, ‘I would like to say prison saved his life because I don’t think he would ever have told anyone [about his symptoms].’
Now that Cosby is free, he is, Wyatt said, receiving acupuncture, drinking VIDL Wellness tea and embracing an holistic approach to health as advocated by his wife who is a great proponent of Chinese and herbal medicine.
According to Wyatt, far from being rocked by the events of the past years – the trials and very public airing of numerous extra-marital encounters described by Cosby as consensual – the Cosby marriage is stronger than ever.
Neither of the Cosbys were, according to Wyatt, troubled by the women who came forward with their allegations before and during both trials. Instead, they viewed them as, ‘distractors.’
Wyatt said, ‘I don’t think he looked back on anything [like that during his time in prison]. He said that was part of his life. That was his past and he and Mrs. Cosby had discussed that, and they moved on and he moved on from it. Infidelity happens.
‘I think he reflected on a lot of things, on how he wanted to manoeuvre his life…career-wise. But as far as any of those alleged distractors, he never thought about them.’
As for Camille, Wyatt said, ‘She told me, ‘I understood the business that my husband was in. And not only did I understand it, I accepted those things. We dealt with those things then and there’s no perfect relationship. There is no perfect marriage.’
He said, ‘Look, she’s always supporting. She has been his manager for 54 years. She loves him. She’s the matriarch of the family and she’s the matriarch of all of us. Everything you see me do has always been steered and directed and supported by her.
‘Everything that you see him do is steered and directed and supported by Mrs. Cosby. Everything that you see the attorneys do is steered and directed and supported by Mrs. Cosby. She’s on board.’
Wyatt said, ‘You don’t have to air your dirty laundry to the public and that’s what Mrs. Cosby and Mr. Cosby decided not to do. I think that’s what infuriated the media.’
But much of the airing of that ‘dirty laundry’ was arguably beyond their control. Does Wyatt think the damage done to Cosby’s reputation is irreparable? Can the man once known as America’s Dad ever regain the public trust he once enjoyed?
Even though Cosby was charged only with the assault on Constand (above), the trial judge allowed five other accusers to testify that they, too, were similarly victimized
According to Wyatt, ‘He got it back when he was vindicated, Wednesday. He got it back. Look he has over 3.3million followers on social media who never left.
‘There was a group out of Atlanta on Sunday 4th of July threw a ‘Welcome back Bill Cosby’ party. You get [the trust] back by standing on principle and you maintain your innocence and people see you’re fighting.’
The trials of the past years – the allegations, the millions in legal fees, the decimation of his character and legacy – are not things that Cosby can easily leave behind or move on from regardless of his newfound freedom. But, according to Wyatt, he has big plans for the future.
He wants to go on tour and insists that he is in good enough health to do so. He is developing a television show, working on a documentary and a book and determined to use his own experience of prison to advocate for prison reform.
He wants to look forward, not back.
Wyatt said, ‘Look, this was a huge victory. This was the Super Bowl, the NBA Championship, the Stanley Cup and the World Series…and we didn’t ask for a participation trophy.
‘We played the game, and we played the game fair. They didn’t.’