It started with a comedy routine. Hannibal Buress was doing a stand-up set in Philadelphia in 2014 in which he excoriated Bill Cosby, alleging that he was a hypocrite for criticizing the lifestyle of African-Americans despite having been accused of sexual assault.
“He gets on TV — ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’” Mr. Buress said. “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so, kind of brings you down a couple notches.”
After the routine went viral, dozens of women publicly accused Mr. Cosby of sexual assault. Now, a prosecution of Mr. Cosby based on the allegations of one of his accusers, Andrea Constand, has ended in a deadlocked jury, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial. This has left people who have been watching the high-profile criminal case in limbo, including Mr. Cosby’s close friends and supporters, some of whom defended him to the very end. Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” for example, arrived at the start of the trial arm in arm with Mr. Cosby.
As of 6 p.m. Eastern time, Ms. Pulliam had not noted the mistrial on Twitter. Neither had Mr. Buress. But here are some of the reactions of those closely connected with Mr. Cosby, as well as those from others around the globe.
Mr. Cosby’s wife released a biting statement, which was also posted on Mr. Cosby’s Twitter account.
“How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.
Historically, people have challenged injustices. I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision … ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies. As a very special friend once stated, ‘truth can be subdued, but not destroyed.’
Moreover, I express humongous gratitude to counselors Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa for their hard work. Mr. McMonagle for his passionate and powerful articulations of truths; Ms. Agrusa for her thorough research to bolster Counsel McMonagle; to Mr. Andrew Wyatt for his unequivocal skills in public relations; to our team, who worked diligently and intelligently; to our staffs for their continuous commitment to our family and me … and to our children, grandchildren, and other family who loves us … and to our dear friends and supporters, who never gave up on us, despite it all.”
Outside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., Mr. Cosby’s lawyer said this about the mistrial.
“Mr. Cosby began this trial presumed innocent, and he leaves it that way. There were no winners here, but like the song goes, ‘You don’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need.’ If the case is retried, know that I will once again put them to the test.”
Andrea Constand’s lawyers
Ms. Constand’s legal team released a statement thanking the Montgomery County district attorney’s office, the police officers and detectives who worked on the case, the jury and others.
“We are confident that these proceedings have given a voice to the many victims who felt powerless and silenced. We commend those prosecutors who raised awareness that one of the hallmarks of drug-related sexual assaults is the effect the drug has on the victim’s memory and ability to recall and were nonetheless willing to present this evidence to the jury.”
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Kristen Houser, the chief public affairs officer at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, issued a statement that emphasized the difficulty of prosecuting sexual assault cases. Ms. Houser’s statement also noted the difficulties that victims face in court.
“The proceedings in the Cosby trial over the past two weeks have also demonstrated the widespread challenges encountered by victims of sexual assault and prosecutors across the country. The American public often expects victims of sexual assault to behave in ways that are frequently different from how they actually behave.”
Reaction on social media
Others used Twitter to express disappointment or outrage at the mistrial. The writer and actress Lena Dunham tweeted support for survivors of sexual assault.
The Twitter account for the Women’s March condemned the mistrial.
Several other women who have accused Mr. Cosby of sexual assault released statements. Jake Tapper of CNN tweeted Beth Ferrier’s statement.
The writer and producer Judd Apatow also weighed in on Twitter, criticizing Mr. Cosby.
If Cosby’s defense is true he is admitting to cheating hundreds of times on his wife with the use of quaaludes. That’s what he admits. https://t.co/gFthKCfOKa
Unethical like giving college girls drugs to RELAX them. He admits to giving her Benadryl.That’s a lie- but even that is evil.Who does that? https://t.co/dNCsaD6Mfi
Meanwhile, Kumail Nanjiani, who stars in the HBO show “Silicon Valley” posed a question on Twitter that will probably come up when the case is retried.
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