Cosby Facing PR Crisis in New Year
Tens of millions of Americans are looking forward to 2017 as an opportunity for a fresh start and a new beginning. But one celebrity who fell from grace in 2016 likely faces worse to come in 2017.
When rape and drug allegations were leveled against Bill Cosby — again and again and again — in 2015 and 2016, the former comedian and sitcom actor beloved by a generation watched his trust level and fan base implode overnight. In the beginning, some tried to doubt, they really wanted to ignore the incessant stream of horrific allegations coming across the news feed day after day.
Then, finally, Cosby was arrested and, for most, any residual doubt dissipated. Now, as 2017 is dawning, the cuffs — literal and metaphorical — binding Cosby are getting even tighter. Most of the goodwill that sustained the star through the initial allegations is completely gone, replaced by disgust, rage, and feelings of betrayal from a fan base who “thought we knew that guy!”
Charged in December 2015, and arrested shortly after, Cosby faces an imminent criminal trial this summer. His defense team is working overtime, but, to this point, the judge is having none of it. And, the more unsuccessful pleas and motions that make the paper, the more tattered the Cosby brand becomes.
But the attorneys will keep fighting. Prosecutors don’t seem the least bit interested in allowing any plea deals that might keep the nearly 80-year-old star out of prison … and, for many, the potential of Cosby going to prison is too little too late. They want some semblance of justice for the victims, so long silent for reasons only they can confirm.
Cosby, meanwhile, is becoming increasingly comfortable in court, even to the point of joking with security and bantering with attorneys and the press. But that relaxed demeanor could all be an act. Whether it is or not, the audience Cosby has to convince now is a jury which has already heard — and will hear again — about how he drugged women and plied them with alcohol before engaging in sex acts. The women say they were not able to consent. Cosby tells a different story.
If the prosecution gets its way, they will have quite a story to tell. They want multiple women who have already come forward, but whose alleged attacks are outside the statute of limitations, to be allowed to testify … painting Cosby as a predatory monster, not a sweater-wearing father figure.
David Milberg is a credit analyst in NYC with nearly 3 decades of experience in the finance industry. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.