Entertainment

Camille Cosby calls husband's conviction 'mob justice,' compares it to lynching

Bill Cosby's wife is calling for a criminal investigation into the suburban Philadelphia prosecutor behind his sexual assault conviction, saying the case that could put the 80-year-old comedian in prison for the rest of his life was 'mob justice, not real justice.'

Colleges rescind Bill Cosby's honorary degrees, TV academy reviews inclusion in Hall of Fame

Camille Cosby, right, has called for an investigation into the prosecutor behind Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction and blasted the case as 'mob justice, not real justice.' (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Bill Cosby's wife called Thursday for a criminal investigation into the suburban Philadelphia prosecutor behind his sexual assault conviction, saying the case that could put the 80-year-old comedian in prison for the rest of his life was "mob justice, not real justice" and a "tragedy" that must be undone.

Camille Cosby made her first comments on the verdict in a three-page statement sent to the media through a family spokesperson, as institutions from Hollywood to Madison Avenue continued to wipe away the remnants of Bill Cosby's legacy. He was expelled on Thursday from the motion picture academy and the Advertising Hall of Fame, one week after a jury found him guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Camille Cosby said chief complainant Andrea Constand was a liar whose testimony about being drugged and molested at Cosby's home in January 2004 was "riddled with innumerable, dishonest contradictions." She echoed Cosby's lawyers, who contended that Constand framed him to score a big payday.

Constand's lawyer bristled at the statement and asked, "Why would any reputable outlet publish that?"

"Twelve honourable jurors — peers of Cosby— have spoken," lawyer Dolores Troiani said. "There is nothing else that needs to be said."

Constand said in a tweet last week that "Truth prevails."

'Relentless demonization'

Camille Cosby compared the dozens of other women who've accused her husband to a "lynch mob" spurred on by the media's "frenzied, relentless demonization" of him.

She compared his treatment to that of Emmett Till, the black teenager who was kidnapped and murdered after witnesses said he whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery store in 1955. Constand is white.

Camille Cosby said her husband's prosecution was politically motivated, repeating his team's contention that he had been a pawn in a heated race for district attorney.

Camille Cosby said her husband's prosecution was a politically motivated move by District Attorney Kevin Steele, seen at centre flanked by his team of prosecutors. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele attacked opponent Bruce Castor in campaign ads over his decision not to charge Cosby in 2005 and announced Cosby's arrest a month after winning the November 2015 election.

She said Steele and his team were "exploitive and corrupt" and that their "primary purpose is to advance themselves professionally and economically at the expense of Mr. Cosby's life."

"If they can do this to Mr. Cosby, they can do so to anyone," she said.

Steele's office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Schools rescind degrees to Cosby

Camille Cosby, 74, stayed away from both of her husband's trials, except for the defence's closing arguments.

Before the jury came in last week, she went to the defence table and put her arm around Cosby, who is legally blind. They embraced, smiled and chatted, and he gave her a peck on the cheek. When it was the prosecution's turn to argue, she left the courtroom, and Constand entered.

Cosby is on house arrest while awaiting sentencing that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Camille Cosby's statement comes as colleges around the country continued rescinding honorary degrees awarded to the comedian and as the TV academy said it is reviewing his inclusion in its Hall of Fame.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, as Constand has done.

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