Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera painted Bill Cosby as the real victim on Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, expressing outrage that it took this long for the predatory comedian to be released from prison while saying his numerous accusers should have come forward sooner.
The court’s decision to immediately free Cosby from prison on a procedural technicality—the court ruled that prosecutors reneged on a promise not to prosecute him, thus resulting in the comedian incriminating himself in a civil suit—left legal experts and advocates equal parts stunned and enraged.
Rivera, however, felt vindicated that Cosby’s sex crimes conviction was overturned.
Appearing on Fox News to discuss the explosive ruling, Rivera read off comments he made after Cosby was initially found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2018.
Noting that he predicted at that point that a higher court would toss out the conviction because he felt the judge went “way over the line in allowing unrelated victims’ testimony” during the trial, Rivera exclaimed: “What they did to this guy was mob justice!”
Adding that it was “grotesquely unfair” to bring in witnesses to corroborate Cosby’s pattern of sexual predation during the trial, the Fox News correspondent-at-large lamented the ex-sitcom star’s time behind bars.
“How is he going to get back the two years that he has lost now?” Rivera fumed. “This never should have happened.”
Fox anchor John Roberts, meanwhile, pushed back on Rivera’s characterization of Cosby as the victim here, wondering aloud how the “58 women who say he did to them what they say he did ever get back any sense of justice” following Cosby’s release from prison.
In Rivera’s opinion, they should have spoken up sooner.
“John, you are absolutely right. The hearts go out to the victims,” he said. “They should have gone to a prosecutor when their cases were ripe for justice, I am sorry they are not getting a sense of moral fulfillment or rehabilitation or repair for the damage that this man probably did to them, but that is not the way that the justice system works.”
Rivera would go on to say that Harvey Weinstein, another prominent man convicted following the #MeToo era, would likely use Cosby’s appeal victory to get his rape conviction overturned.
“They may be monsters, Me Too may have exacted righteous justice in both of those cases, but this is not the way that the criminal justice system works,” Rivera declared.
Co-anchor Shannon Bream, while saying she is also a “big proponent of due process,” seemed to take issue with Rivera saying Cosby’s accusers should have come forward earlier, noting how difficult it for many women to speak out about sexual assault in the first place—especially powerful men like Cosby.
“I’m not suggesting that they are good people. I’m suggesting that if you have a beef or a gripe, I understand all the impediments for bringing legal action, but you can tell your shrink, you can tell your wife, you can tell your lawyer,” Rivera replied. “And if you have no evidence to corroborate your case and you feel insecure about going to that venue, then sue him.” (Constand did sue Cosby in 2005, and it was Cosby’s confession to giving quaaludes to women before having sex with them in that civil case that ultimately led to criminal charges.)
Towards the end of the segment, Rivera continued to express sympathy for Cosby while portraying the #MeToo movement as dangerous.
“So as we rightfully broadcast and published the anguish of victims who are disappointed here, remember also, Bill Cosby has a wife,” Rivera bemoaned. “Bill Cosby did two years on a case that never should’ve been brought, legally speaking.”
He continued: “Great, he did two years, so that is the pound of flesh here. He paid big time. His career destroyed, his reputation ruined, he was such a big part of pride in family and Black families and all American families, he was America’s dad, you know, and what happened to him to be absolutely destroyed, you know, it was—remember that there are two sides to the story.”
The Fox News star concluded by saying now that #MeToo is in a “calmer period,” we no longer have a “mob screaming for justice—the justice that is the same justice as the French Revolution and the guillotine.”