Bill Cosby Won’t Testify At Trial: Comedian Quotes Gloria Steinem In Interview, Noted Feminist Shocked

Bill Cosby is on a media blitz in advance of his trial for felony sexual assault allegations, and the comedian is lashing out at women and the media over the charges against him. Cosby stated he will not testify at his trial and name-dropped feminist icon Gloria Steinem in a recent interview with Sirius XM radio. When notified that alleged sexual predator Cosby had quoted her, Steinem was shocked and elaborated on what she thought of his guilt or innocence in this matter.

Cosby Won’t Testify, But He Will Be Heard At Trial

When Cosby sat down for an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish that aired Tuesday, May 16, he told the news analyst that he wouldn’t speak in his own defense during the trial because of concerns over what would happen when cross-examined by prosecutors.

Cosby admitted, “My lawyers are scrambling,” but added, “I just don’t want to sit there and have to figure out what I believe is a truthful answer as to whether or not I’m opening a can of something.”

When the CNN host asked Bill Cosby about whether the estimated 50 to 60 women who have come forward with similar drugging and sexual assault allegations were lying, Cosby hedged.

Smerconish asked, “Are you telling me that they’re all lying?”

Cosby replied, “You know better than that… all I have to do is say something similar to that and the next thing I know the postman is carrying a big bag… it’s saying defamation, defamation, defamation.”

This media blitz Cosby is on seems to be an effort to combat his choice not to testify in his own defense and to try and shift public opinion his way, according to many commentators and talking heads. But Cosby might have rattled the wrong cage when he name-dropped Gloria Steinem during his Sirius XM interview.

Gloria Steinem of Ms Magazine
Gloria Steinem quoted by Bill Cosby. [Image by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]

Gloria Steinem Not Happy At Cosby Mention

Bill Cosby told CNN’s Michael Smerconish, “Gloria Steinem had a very interesting quote. She said, ‘The truth shall set you free, but first it might piss you off.'”

The Washington Post contacted the noted feminist and asked her about Cosby’s mention, and Steinem told the Post it was a “mystery” why he would reference her in the conversation over the criminal charges he’s facing.

In fact, Gloria Steinem went on to tell the Washington Post, “It seems to me the women who are accusing him have more right to use that quote. I have no idea what he was thinking.”

Steinem further elaborated to the Post, saying, “[Cosby’s accusers are] credible – as individuals and in their numbers.”

Cosby Optimistic, Plans Return To Performing

Despite the gravity of the charges filed against him and the trial that begins on June 5, Bill Cosby seems to have an eye on his future.

Cosby told Smerconish in the interview that aired Tuesday, “I still feel like I have an awful lot to offer in terms of my writing, in terms of my performance… I want to get back to the laughter and enjoyment of things that I’ve written and things that I perform on stage.”

No matter the outcome of the trial, it seems likely Bill Cosby won’t be headlining any more TV shows after this scandal. The cast of the iconic 80s sitcom The Cosby Show remains divided on the guilt or innocence of the former TV patriarch.

Lisa Bonet
Bill Cosby co-star Lisa Bonet [Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]

Co-Stars Kravitz And Phillips Speak Out

Zoe Kravitz, daughter of Cosby Show co-star Lisa Bonet, shared her mother’s outlook on Cosby in a recent interview with Allure to be published in June.

Kravitz said her mother “didn’t like hearing about it” then added that Lisa Bonet “didn’t seem incredibly surprised by it.”

Joseph C. Phillips has been the most outspoken Cosby Show cast member on the subject of the allegations against Cosby. Phillips portrayed Lt. Martin Kendall, the husband of Lisa Bonet’s character, Denise Huxtable.

Phillips wrote a lengthy blog titled “Of Course Bill Cosby is Guilty” that he published two years ago. Phillips shared an encounter he had a few years ago, when the allegations against Cosby first surfaced, of a woman who was among the many who have come forward.

Phillips wrote that he comforted the woman and told her, “Yes, I believe you.”

Cosby’s Two Week Criminal Trial Starts June 5

Bill Cosby’s trial is set to begin next month and will last two weeks with an anonymous jury that will be sequestered for the duration. He faces felony assault charges against just one of the many women who have accused him of assault, but many of the alleged victims will testify.

One of the primary obstacles Cosby’s legal team faces in court is a deposition from a civil case against the former TV star where he admitted drugging some women for sex. The judge in the criminal case decided the deposition of Cosby admitting to drugging women is admissible.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he’s facing in his alleged drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand, a former employee at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University.

[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]