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Bill Cosby says racism may play role in legal troubles

Bill Cosby departs the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania,

Bill Cosby departs the courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on May 24, 2016. His daughter says racism is a motivator in Cosby's being accused of sexual assault. Credit: Getty Images / Matt Rourke

During his first interview in more than two years, comedy legend Bill Cosby, who is scheduled to stand trial in Pennsylvania for one of more than 50 accusations of sexual assault in decades past, said racism may be a motivating factor in his legal travails.

“Could be. Could be. I can’t say anything, but there are certain things that I look at and I apply to the situation, and . . . there are so many tentacles,” he told SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish in an interview that aired Tuesday morning. “So many different . . . ‘nefarious’ is a great word,” he said, interrupting himself. “And I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”

Cosby, 79, was responding to the host’s playing a recording of daughter Ensa Cosby suggesting that “racism has played in big role in all aspects of this scandal.”

When Smerconish pointed out that the accusers are both Caucasian and African-Americans, Cosby replied, “Well, let me put it to you this way: When you look at the power structure, and when you look at individuals, there are some people who can very well be motivated by whether or not they’re going to work. Or whether or not they might be able to get back at someone.” He added that while racism may not be an issue in all instances, “I do think that there’s some.”

When asked about the large number of women who had come forward, Cosby said, “I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the [current] numbers didn’t work. So the piling on, so to speak, is . . . certainly an impressive, impressive way to get public opinion to come to the other side.”

In response to the host’s question “Are you telling me that they’re all lying?” Cosby replied vaguely, “You know better than that.”

Cosby also revealed he did not plan to take the stand in his own defense.

The comedian’s representatives have consistently denied all allegations. Because of statutes of limitations, only one case is going forward. The Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, district attorney announced in December 2015 it was charging Cosby with aggravated indecent assault involving Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee.

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