Comedy icon Bill Cosby is set to return to a Morristown, Pennsylvania courtroom to start his sexual misconduct retrial against Andrea Constand.
A Questionable Jury Member
The 80-year-old entertainment industry veteran is expected to be in court today, the Los Angeles Times reported. Cosby and his legal team, led by attorney Tom Mesereau, have been trying to delay the legal proceeding. Their decision to delay the retrial came after the Associated Press reported that one of the retrial's 12 jurors spoke out his opinion on the defendant being guilty.
Cosby's team have petitioned Judge Steven O'Neill, who previously preceded over the 2017 trail, to remove the juror from the case because he might have influenced his peers. As of publication, this juror is still part of the 12-member jury that includes seven men and five women. It is also noted that there are only two African Americans that are a part of this group.
The Prosecution's Star Witness
The prosecution originally sought to call 19 women to come to the witness stand for the retrial, according to reports. However, Judge O'Neill allowed the prosecution only five witnesses. Fashion industry veteran Janice Dickinson is expected to be one of the key witnesses. Former America's Next Top Model judge has accused Cosby of drugging and raping her in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe in 1982 according to Vulture. Dickinson is also suing Cosby for defamation in a California civil court.
Enter The #MeToo Movement
One component that was not present during the 2017 trial was the #MeToo Movement. Since the 2017 trial, which ended with Judge O'Neill declaring it a mistrial, a plethora of entertainment industry insiders has been exposed as sexual predators.
From movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and record producer Russell Simmons to former television anchors Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, countless men have lost their prestigious careers over countless sexual misconduct allegations. Many media outlets have reported that the social movement is expected to cast its shadow during the legal proceedings. Over 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual harassment in a time span of five decades, BBC News reported.
Returning To Stand-Up Comedy
Months before the new chapter of legal proceedings began, Cosby decided to return to the stand-up comedy world. He surprised patrons at the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia's Club LaRose when he did a quick set at a celebration that honored jazz drummer Tony Williams. Attendees who were at the event stated that Cosby performed several jokes that focused on growing up in the African American community and made fun of his visual impairment. However, he avoided talking about the upcoming retrial and his previous legal cases. The performance marked the first time that Cosby performed stand-up since 2015.