Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault charges earlier this week, and the 80-year-old actor/comedian faces up to 30 years in prison for his crimes. He left the courthouse on $1 million bond and waits for sentencing.
Montgomery County, Pa. District Attorney Kevin Steele addressed the outcome at a news conference, explaining that money and power did not prevent his office from its criminal investigation.
“What was revealed through this investigation was a man who had spent decades preying on women that he drugged and sexually assaulted and a man that had evaded this moment, here today, for far too long,” Steele said. “He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes.”
Several celebrities, many of whom were vocal as part of the #MeToo movement, expressed their relief at the news.
“With Bill Cosby’s guilty verdict I hope these women find some peace and that all those who have not been able to find justice in other instances with other men have hope that they too will be heard,” tweeted actress Susan Sarandon. “Zero tolerance of sexual harassment.”
“To the survivors of his abuse, and to all survivors –whether you receive justice swiftly or many years down the road, know that we see you, we hear you, and we believe you,” Mariska Hargitay posted. “You matter and what happened to you matters.”
Hargitay’s Law & Order: SVU character, Lt. Olivia Benson, has been fighting sex crimes for over 20 years. The actress has also done her part in real life by creating the Joyful Heart Foundation to help survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.
Actress Padma Lakshmi noted: “In a fitting end to Sexual Assault Awareness month, Bill Cosby was found guilty today. Thinking of all the women he traumatized over the past 50 years. As a survivor myself, I know that pain never fully goes away. But I hope that his victims finally feel some semblance of peace.”
“Cosby is guilty,” wrote Rose McGowan. “I’m sorry if you loved a lie. His victims can now exhale. Thank you, judge and jury. Thank you society for waking up.”
McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with filmmaker Harvey Weinstein in an alleged sexual harassment case. Earlier this year, she released a memoir, Brave, detailing her story.
Actress Mira Sorvino also revealed in 2017 that she was a victim of Weinstein’s unwanted advances. She said upon hearing the Cosby verdicts: “Unbelievably amazing news!!!!!”
Actress Patricia Arquette appeared a bit surprised—but pleased—with the news. She wrote: “The state of America is this- Even with dozens of accusers we were all afraid Bill Cosby would walk.”
Actor Josh Malina, in anticipation of his sentencing, added: “Wishing Bill Cosby a long life!”
Former football player Terry Crews chimed in: “ACCOUNTABILITY. This is the only way things will change.”
Seth MacFarlane wrote: “The Cosby conviction is a resonant reminder that power and influence come with significant responsibility, and must never, ever be abused in an evolved society. Hopefully, this is only the first step forward.”