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Bill Cosby says he won't testify in criminal trial, suggests racism is at play

Bill Cosby says he won't testify in his sexual assault trial next month and is speaking out against his accusers, suggesting that racism is fueling the misconduct allegations leveled against him.

"I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that," the embattled comedian said in an interview with Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish that aired Tuesday. 

The 79-year-old sitcom star is charged with drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004, which is the only criminal case that resulted from the dozens of decades-spanning allegations that resurfaced in the last few years. Cosby has said the encounter with Constand was consensual and has sued some of the other women for defamation.

In his first recorded interview since he was charged in December 2015 (he spoke with a consortium of black-owned newspapers last month), the sometimes-rambling entertainer explained why he didn't want to testify in the case.

"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 that [will leave] my lawyers scrambling," he told Smerconish.

In regards to the racism claim, Smerconish -- who agreed to air three audio clips with Cosby's daughters if Cosby agreed to sit for the interview -- pointed out that Cosby's accusers are both black and white. But Cosby was undeterred and suggested that some of his accusers were trying to get revenge.

"When you look at the power structure, and when you look at individuals, there are some people who can very well be motivated by whether or not they're going to work. Or whether or not they might be able to get back at someone," Cosby said.

"So if it's in terms of whatever the choice is, I think that you can also examine individuals and situations and they will come out differently. So it's not all, it's not every, but I do think that there's some."

Cosby's attorneys also pointed to racism and bias in a motion to get the case dismissed in October.

He also said that the number of women coming forward created a "piling-on" effect that swayed public opinion against him.

"I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the numbers didn't work," Cosby said. "So, the piling on, so to speak, is a way, and certainly an impressive, impressive way, to get public opinion to come to the other side."

When asked if all the women were lying, Cosby replied, "You know better than that. I won't and I cannot answer that. It's really not fair and you know that."

The once-beloved comic faces 10 years in prison if convicted on the felony sex assault charges. The trial will begin in suburban Philadelphia on June 5, and jury selection will take place next week.

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