Bill Cosby talks but says little about sexual assault allegations on 'GMA'

Bill Cosby addresses sexual assault allegations, sort of, on 'Good Morning America'

Bill Cosby, who has been accused by dozens of women of sexual assault, finally broke his silence about the allegations Friday, though he said very little.

The entertainer spoke about the charges with ABC News' Linsey Davis on "Good Morning America" as Cosby discussed an education initiative he is promoting in Alabama. Cosby said he expected some backlash to his involvement in the program.

“I think that many of them may say, ‘Well, you are a hypocrite. You say one thing, you say another,’” he told Davis. “My point is, 'OK, listen to me carefully. I’m telling you where the road is out. I’m telling you where, as you drive, you are going to go into the water. Now, you want to go here or you want to be concerned about who is giving you the message?'”

Cosby and his representatives have repeatedly denied the claims of more than 30 women that he drugged and assaulted them. He has never been criminally charged, but the controversy has had a devastating effect on his career, causing him to cancel several concerts. NBC scrapped a planned series with him, and has severed all ties.

The education initiative he's involved in is aimed at raising awareness about underfunded schools near Selma, Ala. He has been invited to walk across the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge with students as part of a “March for Education.” The program is hosted by the Black Belt Community Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the lives of citizens in a 12-county section of Alabama known as the Black Belt.

His participation has sparked considerable opposition from those who say he is a criminal.

Although he never addressed the controversy directly, he implied that it has had an effect.

“It’s interesting. When I talk to people they will say, ‘This is a situation that’s unprecedented.’ I, my family, my friends, I have been in this business 52 years," he said. "I’ve never seen anything like this. And reality is the situation. And I can’t speak.”

Cosby’s participation sparked an online firestorm, something that organizers admit made them think twice about his involvement.

“We had some very rich discussions about it, but at the end of the day what was most important was: How do we make sure the world knows that Black Belt children matter?” said Felecia Lucky, the organization’s president.

Cosby, whose long career has included his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” still talks about the possibility of a return to TV.

“I really know about what I want to do tomorrow -- in the tomorrows that follow,” he told Davis. “I have a ton of ideas to put on television for a series about people and their behavior and their love for each other.”

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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