On Wednesday night, Bill Cosby made a rare public appearance at a Philadelphia restaurant, where he requested that a female reporter keep his name out of the #MeToo movement.
Cosby went to Philly’s Old City at Ristorante La Veranda where, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he joked around with a table full of men. He also reportedly had to be helped into the restaurant, because of his alleged blindness.
But when he was leaving the restaurant, the Inquirer‘s Laura McCrystal shook his hand, prompting Cosby to make a questionable remark.
“Please don’t put me on #MeToo,” he said.
The #MeToo movement, created by Tarana Burke, has swept the country as women everywhere speak out about sexual harassment and assault. The movement is meant to spotlight how pervasive the problem is, and also to give women a voice for the problems that are too often swept under the rug.
Read entire Philadelphia Inquirer piece here.
The Andrea Constand trial
The comment was especially jarring, as it comes ahead of Cosby‘s retrial. In April, he will once again be facing accusations from Andrea Constand that he drugged and assaulted her in 2004. Cosby’s argument in his defense was that the sexual relationship between himself and Constand was consensual.
However, the jury deadlocked, resulting in a mistrial.
An unidentified juror told ABC News shortly after the trial that, at some point during the trial, during which jurors deliberated for around 52 hours, jurors had voted 10-2 that Cosby was guilty, specifically for digitally penetrating Constand without obtaining her consent. The same 10-2 vote was also reached that he was guilty of giving her drugs or alcohol to impair her.
It may be that, looking ahead to the retrial of that case, Cosby has noticed that Constand has been active on Twitter, specifically talking about the #MeToo movement.
The retrial is scheduled to take place in April.