Over a year after he was first incarcerated for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand, the disgraced actor and comedian — who is serving three to 10 years — has given his first interview. In it, the 82-year-old maintained his innocence from his Pennsylvania correctional institution, Phoenix, which is located outside Philadelphia, and, because of that, he expects to serve the entire sentence. Cosby also called his trial a "set up" and the jurors "imposters."
"I have eight years and nine months left," Cosby told National Newspaper Publishers Association's BlackPressUSA.com, clearly not believing he will leave prison on the early side of his sentence. "When I come up for parole, they're not going to hear me say that I have remorse. I was there. I don't care what group of people come along and talk about this when they weren't there. They don't know."
Cosby, who is appealing his sentence, said his trial was "all a set up. That whole jury thing. They were imposters."
Cosby referred to an incident after the jury was selected when an alternate juror claimed to have overheard a seated juror say that Cosby was guilty. While the issue was raised by Cosby's legal team with the judge, that judge apparently found insufficient evidence of it because the juror remained.
"It's something attorneys will tell you is called a payoff," Cosby said.
Bill Cosby through the years
Bill Cosby through the years
July 1973: The actor, Bill Cosby, in Perth. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Actor Bill Cosby leaves his New York City home accompanied by his wife, Camille (L,) and a young woman with her hands over her face, believed to be one of his four daughters, enroute to Los Angeles, CA, 16 January 1997 after his son Enis William Cosby was found shot to death along a California freeway. The young Cosby, 28, was found in a pool of blood after he stopped to change a flat tire. (Photo credit should read BOB STRONG/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Actor and comedian Bill Cosby (R) and his wife Camille arrive at the White House 06 December for a reception prior to being honored at the 21st annual national Kennedy Center Honors. Cosby and the other honorees will be saluted later 06 December at a performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House. AFP PHOTO/CHRIS KLEPONIS (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Co-hosts Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby joke with each other during the opening of the 2000 Essence Awards 14 April, 2000 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Actor Danny Glover and basketball star Michael Jordan were two of the honorees at the ceremonies sponsored by Essence Magazine. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
386603 06: Rachel Robinson and Actor Bill Cosby, who was the Master of Ceremonies, share a moment March 12, 2001 at The Jackie Robinson Foundation 2001 Awards Dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Actor Bill Cosby arrives at the NBC 75th Anniversary Special at Rockefeller Plaza in New York 05 May 2002. The actual anniversary fell on 15 November, 2001. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit should read DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 9: Actor Comedian Bill Cosby shows off the Presidential Medal of Freedom he received from U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony July 9, 2002 at the White House in Washington, DC. The medal is the highest civilian award given to those who have made meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHILIDELPHIA - MAY 22: Comedian and member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University Bill Cosby enters the arena prior to speaking to the graduates of the Class of 2003 at Temple University's commencement ceremony in The Liacouras Center May 22, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Don Murray/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby poses backstage with his 'Bob Hope Humanitarian' award during the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium September 21, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 12: Comedian Bill Cosby introduces the film 'Fat Albert' at Temple University's Liacouras Center for the world premiere of 'Fat Albert' December 12, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film, based on Bill Cosby's 'Fat Albert' cartoon series of the 70's, opens nationwide Christmas day. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Apollo Theater on December 11, 2005 In New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 14: (AFP OUT) Entertainer Bill Cosby speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios October 14, 2007 in Washington, DC. Cosby spoke on the new book he co-authored 'Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: Bill Cosby arrives at the Esquie Magazine and Village Academies event honoring Bill Cosby at Esquire North November 19, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 26: Comedian Bill Cosby poses for photographers at the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center on October 26, 2009 in Washington, DC. Cosby is this year's honoree. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Bill Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby speak onstage at the Apollo Theater 75th Anniversary Gala at The Apollo Theater on June 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 6: Bill Cosby, Ed.D. poses for pictures before accepting the Marian Anderson Award at a gala concert produced in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra April 6, 2010 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 08: Comedian Bill Cosby attends the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the The Waldorf Astoria on March 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 09: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during Andre Agassi Foundation for Education's 15th Grand Slam for Children benefit concert at the Wynn Las Vegas October 9, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event raises funds to help improve education for underserved youth in the Las Vegas community. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02: Comedian Bill Cosby promotes new book 'I Didn't Ask To Be Born: But I'm Glad I Was' at the Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on November 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Bill Cosby accepts the Impact Award for 'The Cosby Show' with (L-R) actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, presenter Stevie Wonder, actors Raven-Symone and Sabrina LeBeauf onstage at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Host Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the 2011 Jackie Robinson Foundation awards gala atThe Waldorf=Astoria on March 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Bill Cosby performs during the Screen Gems Presents The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on May 14, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Actor Bill Cosby gestures to the crowd after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on September 13, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: Bill Cosby hosts the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on March 5, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 15: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby speaks onstage during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund hosted by Bill Cosby at the Beverly Hills Hotel on June 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BHH)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Bill Cosby performs at the 7th annual 'Stand Up For Heroes' event at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: Bill Cosby speaks during the 55th Anniversary of Ben's Chili Bowl on August 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 04: Dr. Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the The Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards' Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Comedian/actor Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby addresses the Press Room during the 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 10: Actor/comedian Bill Cosby performs onstage at Funny Or Die Clubhouse + Facebook Pop-Up HQ @ SXSW - Day 2 on March 10, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Comedian Bill Cosby attends 2014 American Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Actor Bill Cosby performs at the King Center for the Performing Arts on November 21, 2014 in Melbourne, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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He tied his sentence to racial injustice, saying, "I know what they've done to my people. But my people are going to view me and say, 'That boy looks good. That boy is strong.' I have too many heroes that I've sat with. Too many heroes whom I listened to like John Henrik Clarke, Kenneth Clark, and Dorothy Height. Those people are very strong, and they saw the rejection of their people. This is political. I can see the whole thing." (He previously compared himself to political prisoners including Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.)
But Cosby — who is in general population with prisoners who serve as his helpers, due to his age and being legally blind — called himself a "privileged man in prison." He also called his small cell his "penthouse."
The interview took place over several phone calls and Cosby's spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, on the line for each one. A Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokesperson tells Yahoo Entertainment that "reporters are like any other visitor. They need to be on the inmate approved visitor list for an in-person visit, or they can do it via phone," which is how Cosby's interview was conducted.
Much of the interview centered on what Cosby says he's doing to help his fellow black inmates while incarcerated. He said he frequently speaks at the prison reform program Mann Up's meetings, which are meant to encourage and empower African American inmates. Of course, prior to his conviction Cosby was famously critical of the African-American community — and acknowledged that. He said he probably shouldn't have given his infamous 2004 "Pound Cake speech," in which he criticized poor blacks for not living up to the promise of the civil rights movement.
"They are under siege," he said of African Americans. "This thing with the drugs and the different pockets of the neighborhoods where it's going on. When you look at what drugs are doing ... things that make these people drive around and shoot into crowds. The insanity of what is the cause to the brain by all the drugs these people are dealing with. It's exactly what I warned them about in 2004. They've thrown education out the window. They've thrown respect for the family out the window, and they're blaming each other for what's going on. There is post-traumatic stress syndrome, and there are also bad manners."
But Cosby said he's helping his fellow inmates, some of whom went on the record for the interview.
"I'm not a psychiatrist, and I'm not a psychologist," Cosby said. "I'm an educator, and what I look forward to is talking to this group of 400 or so men. Some of them here are in their 70s, in their 50s, their 40s, 30s, and 20s. I tell them what I know and what I feel. I feel that everything that I said in 2004, there is a light [behind it]. The mistake I made [in 2004] is making it sound like all the people were making the infractions, and that's not true."
One of the inmates talked about how Cosby enters the lectures "with his fist in the air and all of these men rise up and applaud him."
Cosby seems to have a lot of pull on the inside. He also claimed he talked one of the inmates into calling off a hit.
"I heard a guy say to someone that if someone did something he didn't like, he'd go out and get all his boys and they'd kill the fella," Cosby recalled. "I said, how much sense does that make? You call your boys, and they want to kill him. I said to look at all the people you've got involved, and when you get caught, you are all going to jail, and you got one dead fella. 'Call if off,' I told the guy. I said to him that you need to call your friends, too."
"When The Cosby Show came on with the Huxtables, just think about it. While it was running, other networks and even the media were doing jobs on trying to belittle whatever it represented," Cosby said."They did not like what The Cosby Show looked like for us, and many of us traded into it. Now, look at what has happened. They've taken everything that I've done and swept it into a place where it would not be shown."
In April 2018, Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Constand in 2004. In September of that year, he was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison with the judge ruling that the TV star is a "sexually violent predator." He was taken into custody immediately. In June, he appealed his conviction.