Bill Cosby has been moved to the general population but hasn’t had any visits from family four months after arriving at a Pennsylvania state prison.
The 81-year-old Cosby, who is legally blind, has been moved out of special housing where he spent time getting acclimated, a prison spokeswoman said. He still has inmates assigned to help him throughout the day, given his age and disability.
Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said he doesn’t expect Camille Cosby or their daughters to visit the prison, which is about 32 kilometres from a family estate in the Philadelphia suburbs. Cosby is serving a three- to 10-year term for drugging and molesting Toronto woman Andrea Constand there in 2004.
“He doesn’t want to have them in that environment,” said Wyatt, who visits regularly. “Why put them in that position, to make it turn into some form of a circus?”
Camille Cosby made just one brief appearance at each of her husband’s two criminal trials, and their three surviving daughters stayed away. Cosby’s wife of more than 50 years did, however, file an ethics complaint against the trial judge last year, accusing him of bias in the case.
She continues to strategize on her husband’s behalf behind the scenes, Wyatt told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Cosby, after being moved last week, now has a single cell in a two-story unit at the newly built SCI-Phoenix in Montgomery County. Wyatt said he’s in a unit reserved for veterans, something the prison would not confirm. He had earlier been in a private cell and day room near the infirmary.
Cosby believes he is a “political prisoner,” targeted for his social and political views much like heroes Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, Wyatt said.
“He said, ‘They want to entrap me to say I’m remorseful, or to say I did something I didn’t do.’ I’m not going to fall for it,” Wyatt said.
Inmates at Phoenix are awakened at 6 a.m. and back in their cells by 8:45 p.m.
They can spend several hours a day in the gym or exercise yard, and other time in the library, classroom, day room or visiting area, state prison spokeswoman Amy Worden said. Wyatt said that Cosby gets up before dawn to do leg lifts and crunches in his cell, and has been working on new creative projects.
“He hasn’t stopped thinking about the things that he’s going to do when he gets out,” Wyatt said.
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A jury at a retrial last year convicted Cosby of three counts of felony sex assault. He is appealing the conviction.
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual assault or misconduct over a 50-year span, including five who testified at the retrial. Cosby and his lawyers and agents have repeatedly called the encounters consensual.
Cosby, a Philadelphia native, rose to fame in the 1960s as the first black actor to star in a primetime television drama with the hit show, I Spy. He became known as “America’s Dad” for his portrayal of family man Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992, a show that helped his fortune reach an estimated US$400 million.
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