Bill Cosby, A Man Accused of Sexual Assault, Will Now Educate People About Sexual Assault Accusations

Days after the disgraced comedian's case ended in a mistrial, he is reportedly planning a a series of 'town halls' to school the youth

MOST POPULAR

Last Friday, news hit that Bill Cosby, a man accused of sexual assault, was planning a tour of speaking engagements (known as 'town halls') this summer to teach people about sexual assault.

In the original interview on Good Day Alabama, with Cosby's publicists Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson, we inferred that the tour was more about how to avoid being accused of sexual assault.

Watch the original interview below:

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Here's the rub, though. Clearly that nugget of information didn't go down well at the Cosby PR camp, because a spokesman has come out proffering an altogether very different aim. According to his team, the comedian's upcoming 'town hall' tour will not focus on teaching people about sexual-assault accusations.

This comes from Benson, the same man who said the upcoming 'town hall' would focus on educating people, in particular 'athletes' and 'married men,' on how to avoid sexual-assault accusations.

In case you missed that very important point, here's Benson explaining it to a CNN New Day anchor on Sunday: 'The town-hall meetings are not about sexual assault. I will repeat. These town-hall meetings are not about sexual assault.'

Confused? Us too.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Helpfully Benson has clarified things: 'When we initially talked about the town-hall meetings it was about restoration of legacy, much to what Mrs. Cosby spoke on in her statement, is the sensationalism brought on by the media. This is another example of that. To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man's legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That's what this is about.'

Wyatt and Benson said this was 'bigger' than Bill Cosby, a man who has been accused by nearly 60 women of inappropriate behaviour ranging from unwanted sexual touching to rape. The 'this' being having a woman say you raped her, naturally.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

'This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,' Wyatt said. 'They need to know what they are facing when they are hanging out and partying, when they are doing certain things that they shouldn't be doing. And it also affects married men.'

The TV host asks with a chuckle if this is a 'do as I say not as I do situation?', to which Benson replies: 'The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended, so this is why people need to be educated [that] a brush against a shoulder — anything, at this point — can be considered sexual assault. It's a good thing to be educated about the laws.'

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an anti-sexual violence organisation known as RAINN, responded to Cosby's plans. 'It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place,' spokeswoman Jodi Omear said in a statement.

The incident is the second in a very line long line of men telling women how not to get raped.

First came Ched Evans. The footballer, who was cleared last October of raping a 19-year-old woman after a retrial, also had some very important advice for us ladies.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Y'all 'need to be made aware of the dangers' you put yourselves in because there are 'genuine rapists out there who prey on girls who have been drinking,' he told the Mail on Sunday.

Damn. We simply hadn't realised that never drinking and avoiding all men is a simple and effective way of staying safe.

Evans, who was found guilty of rape in 2012, had his conviction quashed in April after judges ruled evidence relating to the complainant's sexual history could be included in the second trial.

Perhaps instead of giving men the know-how to slip through an already muddled law we should teach them to, y'know, respect women? Just a thought.

More from ELLE UK: