Whoopi Goldberg reverses her Bill Cosby opinion after statutes-of-limitation primer

Whoopi Goldberg has gotten a brief legal education — and it's led her to throw Bill Cosby to the public-opinion wolves.

"If this is to be tried in the court of public opinion, I've got to say, all the information that's out there kind of points to guilt," she said Tuesday on "The View," departing starkly from her "innocent until proven guilty" observation on the show a week ago. 

Apparently, until she had a sit-down with ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams and got an education in statutes of limitations, Goldberg had no idea that the man accused of rape by more than four dozen women could not be taken to court regarding the vast majority of those allegations, which run from the 1960s into the 2000s.

Abrams laid out the details (watch it above), and the scales fell from the talk-show panelist's eyes.

"You have a serial rapist, he's been on the street for 30 years," she said. "I have to say, I thought, 'Yeah, here's all the information, take his ass to jail.' I find out ... that's not possible, so I can't say anymore, 'Innocent until proven guilty,' because there's no way to prove it. We're the only proof that folks have. We're the only backup they have."

Goldberg expressed her widely criticized opinion the day after part of a just-released 2005 deposition revealed Cosby had admitted procuring Quaaludes with the intention of using them to have sex with women.

"I've been taking a lot of heat for various reasons," she told the audience at the beginning of the Tuesday segment, explaining why she'd sought Abrams' expertise and perhaps alluding to a piece by HBO's John Oliver showing her defending not only Cosby but Roman Polanski, Ray Rice, Chris Brown, Mel Gibson and other theoretically indefensible subjects.

"As a practical matter, the remedy against Bill Cosby is the court of public opinion," Abrams said. "It's the pressure, it's the pulling of his TV shows, it's the ridicule."

And there Goldberg had to disagree once again: "I don't agree with the pulling of his TV shows," she said, "because that affects other actors there, and they might not be able to make a living."

She added, however, that she hoped she wouldn't be taken the wrong way.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

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