In his first interview in two years, Bill Cosby has revealed that he is now completely blind.
The comedian told the National Newspaper Publishers Association news service that he woke up one morning two years ago and told wife Camille, “I can’t see.”
Doctors later gave Cosby a grim prognosis, and said that nothing could be done to restore his vision.
So, according to his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, they were forced to improvise: “When he would perform, we’d draw a wide straight yellow line from backstage to the chair on the stage and he’d rehearse the walk, hours before the show.”
Last year, the New York Post quoted a source who claimed that Cosby was living “in his own personal hell” because of a degenerative eye condition called keratoconus.
Cosby’s criminal sexual-assault trial is scheduled to be held in June in Pennsylvania. He is accused of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home over a decade ago. Cosby has consistently denied the charge, and said that their encounter was consensual.
One of Cosby’s defense attorneys, Angela Agrusa, also spoke out this week. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she hopes to ultimately rebuild the comedian’s reputation. “It’s like the court of public opinion has found him guilty, and our job as lawyers is we now have to convince not just the judge, but also the public why the initial verdict is wrong,” she told THR. “Ultimately we want to make it safe again to enjoy a great episode of The Cosby Show.”
Cosby’s daughter Evin, 40, also defended her father in print. “We get all sorts of mixed-up messages in our society,” Evin, 40, wrote in an extensive letter printed by The Hollywood Reporter. “We are told that we have fundamental rights to be innocent until proven guilty. But, if enough people think you are a bad person, you are branded a bad person, and the media just reinforces that. My dad, like anyone in this country, deserves to be treated fairly under the law.”
“I am his fourth daughter. He raised me to go to college, start my own business, and be my own woman. He is helping me raise my children and teach them family values. I know that my father loves me, loves my sisters and my mother. He loves and respects women. He is not abusive, violent, or a rapist. Sure, like many celebrities tempted by opportunity, he had his affairs, but that was between him and my mother. They have worked through it and moved on, and I am glad they did for them and for our family.”
Main photo: Bill Cosby [Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney]