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Bill Cosby Said He’s a 'Political Prisoner’ and Compared Himself to Gandhi

His press guy is pushing the idea that Cosby is in prison not for rape, but in retribution for his work toward racial justice.

by Allie Conti
14 February 2019, 6:19pm

Photo by David Maialetti-Pool/Getty Images

When Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand and sentenced to prison last year, his crisis control guy, Andrew Wyatt, called the trial "the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States." The Alabama-based spin doctor was tasked with the very difficult job of rehabilitating the public image of a man who admitted in court that he drugged women—and who was publicly accused of rape by dozens of women. From the beginning, it seemed clear that his strategy was going to be painting the accusations as some sort of retribution for all that "America's Dad" had done for racial justice. This was, in part, cribbed from other folks who defended Cosby long after his cries of innocence defied the bounds of credulity.

Now, in his first statement since his conviction, Cosby has taken the whole "victim" thing a step further. He's comparing himself to some of the greatest civil rights icons and martyrs of all time.

"My political beliefs, my actions of trying to humanize all races, genders, and religions have landed me in this place surrounded by barb wire fencing, a room made of steel and iron," he said through Wyatt in a statement. "So, I now have a temporary residence that resembles the quarters of some of the greatest political prisoners—Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Randal Robinson, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis."

The day before he put out the statement, Wyatt said in an infuriating TV interview with NBC Newsthat Cosby told him his time in the maximum-security prison, where he's currently serving three to ten years, has been "an amazing experience." He shed a few more details about life there, too. Apparently the 81-year-old gets a cell to himself, and has other inmates assigned to help him out. The disgraced comedian wakes up at 3:30 AM to exercise and has cut out bread, coffee, and dessert from his diet. Wyatt, who's Cosby's only visitor, added that the convict doesn't feel any remorse for what he did to Constand, or for anything else. He's also apparently developing a new TV show idea.

"When I visit him, it’s nothing sad about it,” Wyatt told NBC. “He will never have remorse, and the reason why he has no remorse is because he did nothing wrong. He was not guilty.”

It's unclear how much of this is trolling or cognitive dissonance on Cosby's part. (After all, Wyatt said Cosby doesn't expect his wife to visit him because the prison is a whole 20 miles away from her house.) But the idea that he believes he might actually have a shot at a comeback seems genuine. He's previously mentioned wanting to get into the motivational speaking game after this legal saga blows over, and in the lead up to his re-trial, the former sitcom star tried to drum up some good will from the public by doing stand-up and playing the drums.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.