[WATCH] Cosby Accuser Reacts to Early Release: ‘I Feel Like Someone Socked Me In the Gut’
[Writer’s disclosure: I am blocked from viewing Bill Cosby’s Twitter account]
Bill Cosby was recently released from prison after serving two years. The comedian was serving a 3-10 year sentence for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand in 2004. His release has found many giving their take on his new freedom, including Phylicia Rashad, who faced backlash for her support of Cosby and ultimately issued an apology. According to a representative for Cosby, the disgraced comedian is already securing dates for a comedy tour. Spokesman Andrew Wyatt said Bill is “talking to a number of promoters and comedy club owners, and noted he’s “just excited the way the world is welcoming him back.” As of now, there is no word when Cosby’s tour will be taking place.
Now the dozens of women who have publicly accused Cosby of sexual assault are left reeling. Cosby was only tried criminally for the incident involving tennis pro Constand. His conviction in 2018 was widely seen as a landmark moment in the #MeToo movement.
As Cosby enjoys his freedom, the women he was imprisoned for sexually assaulting are being forced to relive their trauma. Advocates and activists are concerned the case will prevent future sexual assault victims from coming forward and reporting. Upon his release, Cosby tweeted: “I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence.”
— Patricia Ashwood 🦄 (@MrsAshwood) July 1, 2021
Among Cosby’s accusers to speak out against the ruling was Patricia Leary Steuer, who told CNN: “There were more than 63 of us who came forward in the end. I’m wondering what the purpose was of the 43 years of this ordeal and the trauma that I had and the trauma that my family endured as a result.” Janice Baker-Kinney, who accused Cosby of giving her pills and raping her in the 1980s, told a local Philadelphia TV station: “I am stunned, I am shocked and my stomach is in a knot … One legal ease can overturn this when so many people came forward.”
— rnsailor 🦩 (@rnsailor) July 3, 2021
Former model and Cosby accuser Heidi Thomas talked to MSNBC’s Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser on Saturday about Cosby’s release from prison and what it means for survivors of sexual assault. Watch the segment, below.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or is in an unsafe situation, help is available to you 24 hours a day.