The state’s highest court threw out the disgraced actor’s conviction after finding that District Attorney Kevin Steele, the prosecutor who brought the case against Cosby, violated an agreement to not charge him, a deal that previous District Attorney Bruce Castor had made in 2005, though it had apparently never been put in writing.
Cosby, 83, was released from SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Penn., outside Philadelphia, just before 2:30 p.m, state corrections officials told Fox News. He was seen leaving the prison in a white car shortly afterward.
Hollywood’s biggest supporters of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements – among other celebs – immediately took to social media to share their reactions to the verdict; the onslaught of opinion was strong and swift as Cosby was the first mega name to be prosecuted for alleged sexual assaults since the #MeToo era blanketed the industry as a whole.
Actress Amber Tamblyn, a founding member of Time’s Up wrote: “I am furious to hear this news. I personally know women who this man drugged and raped while unconscious. Shame on the court and this decision … I don’t want to hear anything about how cancel culture ruined men’s lives during the MeToo era reckoning for women and survivors. How we went too far. Today’s news that Cosby’s conviction is being overturned is proof we haven’t gone far enough. Our justice system MUST change.”
Meanwhile, widely outspoken #MeToo and Time’s Up supporter Rose McGowen said: “I stand with all of Bill Cosby’s accusers on this dark day.” McGowan declined to comment further when reached by Fox News as she felt today is a day for Cosby’s accusers to speak out.
“Certainly the optics of this are terrible. But the message has to be very clear and simple — that this was a mistake by prosecutors, a very unusual one and a technicality that is unlikely to happen again,” #MeToo attorney, Lisa Banks, in an interview.
“Today’s devastating decision to overturn the conviction of a man who caused so much harm, pain, and emotional trauma to so many women is a travesty and an injustice. It reminds us again of the struggle that the survivors of his predatory behavior and actions have endured to make their voice’s heard. The semblance of justice these women had in knowing Cosby was convicted has been completely erased with his release today,” Time’s Up foundation CEO and president Tina Tchen said in a statement.
Time’s Up’s board consists of stars like Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria among others.
In addition, other Hollywood celebs also spoke out, slamming the decision.
Comedian and actress Rosie O’Donnell wrote: “I GUESS 70 WOMEN WERENT ENOUGH – f–k u bill.”
Rosanna Arquette posted on Twitter: “Bill Cosby is STILL an evil rapist .the end … I wonder how many people are lining up to make deals with Cosby. too many people in Hollywood protect predator rapists and pretend to care about survivors but they really don’t.”
Debra Messing of “Will & Grace” fame said: “To every woman who was sexual assaulted by #BillCosby my heart hurts for you today and I am full fury. It’s horrifying.”
“Top Chef” host and author Padma Lakshmi didn’t mince words, writing, “Cosby drugged and raped 60 women. Do they not deserve ‘fairness’ and justice? This is why people don’t come forward. This is why urging people to ‘press charges’ falls short, as long as wealthy & powerful men can rape & sexually assault people for decades with impunity.”
“Archer” star Aisha Tyler simply wrote: “THE F–K IS THIS BULLS–T.”
Chef and author Angela Davis issued a strong, “F–k Bill Cosby. Still. Forever. I believe survivors. Ignore the trolls. I said what I said.”
Singer-songwriter Diane Warren even asked, “Did Bill Cosby drug the PA Supreme Court?”.
In 2018, Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, at his suburban Penn., estate back in 2004. The disgraced “Cosby Show” star has served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia.
The court’s decision to free Cosby came after it decided that a “non-prosecution agreement” Cosby entered into with a previous prosecutor should have prevented him from being charged in the first place and thus – the state has completely wiped its hands of the matter.
Fox News’ James Leggate and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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