Bill Cosby reflects on time in prison on the anniversary of his release

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - One year after he was released on an overturned sexual assault conviction, Bill Cosby spoke for the first time about his stay in prison.

Bill Cosby reflected on the anniversary of his release from prison with radio host Frankie Darcell.
Bill Cosby reflected on the anniversary of his release from prison with radio host Frankie Darcell.  © AFP

In a video on the iHeartRadio app, Cosby (84) spoke with host Frankie Darcell of WDAS 105.3 FM. The video was also posted to Cosby’s Instagram.

Cosby, who spoke uninterrupted for almost 15 minutes, recalled the moments leading up to his release.

"I was napping in my cell, which I called my penthouse suite," he said. "Doing 10 years. I heard the cell door open – they can be very loud ... All of a sudden I just hear this yelling, 'Mr. Cosby, Mr. Cosby, you have to wake up now,'" he said.

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"I just felt hands on me, saying, 'Look, you have to get out of here, you have to go home. You’re free ... Mr. Cosby, you’re free,'" he continued.

In 2018, Cosby was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004.

However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2021, citing a "non-prosecution" agreement Cosby had made with a previous district attorney.

Cosby reflects on choosing "the correct people to be your heroes"

Bill Cosby spoke about the importance of choosing the right people to view as heroes.
Bill Cosby spoke about the importance of choosing the right people to view as heroes.  © Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Cosby said his release from prison caught him by surprise.

"I don’t hear voices saying, 'So long, Mr. Cosby,' nothing like that," he said about walking down the hallway after leaving his cell. "It was just quiet, and then all of a sudden, I hear – not the type of applause you get at the beginning or the middle of a show, this is together. Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap. And then it was all around the horseshoe."

Cosby didn’t give many more details about his time inside the State Correctional Institution – Phoenix. But he did talk about entertaining the prisoners, including a speech he gave on the importance of having heroes.

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"I said, 'You’ve got to make yourself heroes and choose the correct people to be your heroes,'" he said. "And I remember – it will stay with me as long as dementia doesn’t throw it out – this boy’s voice [saying], '[I] want to be your hero, Mr. Cosby.'"

Last week, Cosby found himself on the losing end of another unrelated sexual assault case. On June 21, Cosby was found guilty of sexually abusing Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in 1975 when she was just 16 years old.

The comedian was ordered to pay Huth $500,000, although his team has said they will appeal the decision.

Cover photo: AFP

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