Timeline of Bill Cosby sexual assault scandal: Full coverage of allegations, trial

A bald man in a black suit and a red tie
Bill Cosby walks after it was announced a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse for day 14 of his sexual assault retrial on April 26, 2018, in Norristown, Pa..
(Mark Makela / Getty Images)

The overturning of Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction may be the most shocking chapter yet in the saga of the legendary entertainer who was once hailed as “America’s dad.”

Cosby had been found guilty on three counts of aggravated assault stemming from a 2004 encounter at his Cheltenham, Pa., mansion with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women’s basketball staffer, in which he allegedly initiated sexual contact after giving her wine and drugs. (Constand provided court testimony in the case.)

The trial came after accusations about the performer’s sexual misconduct, which had shadowed him for years, resurfaced in 2014 and 2015, spurred in part by a viral Hannibal Buress comedy set. The entertainment world soon began to distance itself from the “I Spy” and “Cosby Show” star: A proposed NBC series was canceled, a Netflix comedy special was yanked and venues began canceling concert performances.

Cosby’s position as a leading figure in the Black community became more tenuous as well. While many fans and former colleagues have continued to support him, highlighting his legacy as a performer who broke barriers to become one of the most beloved entertainers in history, others have blasted Cosby not only for his alleged sexual misconduct but also for his rebukes to Black youth, claiming they disrespected the sacrifices of civil rights activists.

Through it all, Cosby remained defiant. In interviews before his trial, Cosby, who has always maintained his innocence, expressed a strong desire to return to show business, saying he missed the sound of laughter and the thrill of performing. His wife Camille steadfastly stood by her husband.

Cosby showed no emotion when he was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison in Sept. 2018, becoming the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be locked up.