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Cosby Lawyer: I’m Not Victim-Blaming, But ‘Women Have Responsibility'



Bill Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley joined HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill to discuss the sexual assault allegations by 46 women against Cosby.  The two discussed the newly released deposition in which Cosby admitted to drugging women before having sex with them as well as New York Magazine's article profiling 35 of his accusers.


During the discussion, Pressley told Hill that all women who are sexually assaulted have a “responsibility” to immediately report it to create evidence of the crime:
“I’m not speculating, I’m not thinking, I’m not opining… What I’m saying is women have responsibility. We have responsibility for our bodies, we have responsibility for our decisions, we have responsibilities for the ways we conduct ourselves… I’m not talking about these women, I’m saying all women have responsibility… If a woman is violated by a man, and does not report, for whatever reason… in a court of law, the entire situation will never be brought forward for purposes of justice.” 
Hill responded by noting that her logic sounded a lot like victim-blaming. Pressley responded saying, “[Victim-blaming] is like a tag word. It’s a hashtag, even. It’s the prevailing way we label things.” She continued by saying that woman cannot get justice in America without reporting sexual assault promptly.
“So the only way for a woman to get the justice that she seeks, and that if her allegation is true, that she deserves, is to come forward. And even if the reasons that the woman did not do that are legitimate ones, what cannot happen, in my opinion, in the United States, is that 40 years later, there is a persecution tantamount to a witch hunt, where there was no prosecution timely, and there was no civil suit timely… And there’s not any testimony or accusation from any of these women that Mr. Cosby in any way bound them, gagged them, prevented them from coming forward and saying whatever their truth was at the time. That’s not what happened.”
  Pressley and Hill discussed Cosby's wealth, fame, and race as factors pertaining to the truthfulness of the allegations against him.
“The variables that you would need in order for that study to apply to this case would be that you’d have to factor in a very wealthy person who is alleged as the perpetrator of the crime… Those are not a part of any of the current studies… The numbers, when you factor in the person who is the target, change… I’m not seeing that variable included. Because it’s sort of obvious to me if you look at the stories we’ve had over the past 20 years, that many people are willing to say many things in order to get money.” 

While Hill noted Cosby's fame may have discouraged women from coming forward, Pressley used Cosby’s race as a defense.
“Right, strength in numbers… We have to remember, in terms of the allegations that would have been coming forward in the late '60s and the early '70s, that Bill Cosby was still then, as he is now, a black man in America. And I find it incredulous to believe that none of the majority white females who are saying that something was done to them that was inappropriate by an African-American male in the late '60s and '70s that none of them would have been believed.”
“If we look back at our own history, and see what was happening in those times, nothing would be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, he would have been target number one, in those days, and I’d argue in these days! He would have been target number one then and is now! … I’m saying that based on what I know of our country and our country’s history, and when we look back on the kinds of things that were being done then to African-American males, that that’s hard to believe.”


Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with Bill Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley here.

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