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Bill Cosby responds to release from prison: ‘I have always maintained my innocence’

A man with his arm raised with his hands in a "peace" sign.
Bill Cosby outside his home in Elkins Park, Pa., after being released from prison Wednesday.
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

After his release from prison Wednesday, Bill Cosby took to social media to thank his supporters as well as Pennsylvania’s highest court, which had overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction earlier in the day.

“I have never changed my stance nor my story,” tweeted the 83-year-old actor and comedian. “I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”

The message was accompanied by an archival photo of Cosby raising his fist in triumph.

While Cosby has indeed maintained his innocence over the years, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s reversal stems from a due process-related technicality.

A timeline of our coverage of the allegations against the star, from their resurfacing in late 2014 to the overturning of his conviction on Wednesday.

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In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. In its 79-page opinion, the court explained that a “non-prosecution agreement” struck between Cosby and former Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Bruce Castor — which led to the actor making a number of self-incriminating statements during depositions for a civil case that were later used against him in his criminal trial — meant Cosby should not have been charged to begin with.

The court overturning his conviction swiftly led to Cosby’s release from prison. He had served more than two years of his three- to 10-year sentence. Cosby had previously settled with Constand in a civil case for $3.4 million.

Cosby was among the first and highest-profile celebrities to face criminal charges in the wake of the #MeToo movement, in which survivors of sexual harassment and assault spoke up about their experiences and made public accusations against their alleged offenders.


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