2nd Suspect in Cosby Extortion Case Pleads Guilty
The boyfriend of the woman charged with trying to extort up to $40 million from entertainer Bill Cosby by threatening to make public her claim that she is his illegitimate daughter pleaded guilty to conspiracy in federal court Tuesday and is cooperating with prosecutors.
Antonay Williams told U.S. District Judge John S. Martin that he took various steps to aid Autumn Jackson, 22, who claims she is Cosby’s child, and Jose Medina, a sometimes scriptwriter who allegedly also took part in the scheme to blackmail the actor.
Williams, 26, who resides in Perry, Fla., was released on a $250,000 personal recognizance bond. Jackson was freed on bail Monday while Medina remains in jail unable to meet the conditions for his release. According to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Williams “did extensive research on Cosby.”
“That research sought to determine, among other things, the names and addresses of two of Cosby’s corporate sponsors and of the CBS television network on which a show starring Cosby appears,” the papers said.
“Co-conspirators also drafted letters to be sent to CBS and other entities,” the government information continued. “The purpose of those letters was to put further pressure on Cosby to provide money to Jackson, by expressly or impliedly threatening to reveal Jackson’s claim that Cosby was her father out of wedlock if Cosby did not pay money to her.”
The woman’s arrest came in the wake of the unsolved slaying near Bel-Air of Cosby’s 27-year-old son, Ennis. Cosby, in an interview with CBS anchor Dan Rather this week, spoke about his anguish over the killing and also acknowledged that he had a brief extramarital affair with Jackson’s mother before Jackson’s birth. In the network interview, Cosby said that the woman, who now lives in Canyon Country, later told him that he was her daughter’s father.
The entertainer’s name does not appear on Jackson’s birth certificate, and Cosby has repeatedly said that he does not believe that he is her father.
Cosby’s wife, Camille, issued a statement Tuesday saying she remains very supportive of her husband of 33 years, despite his long-ago affair.
“All old personal negative issues between Bill and me were resolved years ago. We are a united couple,” she said. “What occurred 23 years ago is not important to me except for the current issue of the extortion attempt.”
Even more important, she said, is finding her son’s killer or killers. Authorities have said the slaying and the attempted extortion are unrelated.
“I appeal to all of you to help us find the murderer,” Camille Cosby said.