Bill Cosby loses his most feared and fervent defense attorney on the heels of an upcoming criminal trial in Pennsylvania.
Monique Pressley, Bill Cosby’s most fervent and outspoken lawyer, has called it quits.
A report from Deadline confirms that Pressley officially announced her departure from Cosby’s legal team this week.
Cosby, 79, faces three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault while simultaneously fighting multiple defamation and civil lawsuits after at least 58 women accused him of rape or sexual harassment over a period of four decades.
As the spokesperson for Cosby’s legal team, Pressley acted as the first line of defense –vigorously fending off accusers in the courtroom and in the media.
Last year Pressley engaged in a heated exchange with HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill where she insisted that the onus was on women to immediately report assault if they wanted justice.
“Report, go to the hospital… do all of the things that rape counseling centers tell women to do immediately,” she said.
Pressley was relentless in her suspicion of accusers who kept silent, some for over 30 years before coming forward.
“The only way for a woman to get the justice that she seeks—and that, if her allegation is true, that she deserves—is to come forward [soon after the crime],” she said on HuffPost Live.
She was often heard likening the numerous allegations against her then-client to a modern day witch hunt.
“And even if the reasons that the women did not do that [report assault] are legitimate ones, what cannot happen—in my opinion, in the United States—is that 40 years later there is a persecution tantamount to a witch hunt where there was no prosecution timely and there was no civil suit timely.”
Pressley was also at the helm of the countersuit Cosby filed against seven of his accusers in December 2015 where they cited, “the comedian suffered emotional distress and ‘substantial injuries’ to his reputation, business contracts, as well as damage to his property,” TIME reported.
Before joining Cosby’s defense team, Pressley, also an ordained minister, served as the principal attorney of her D.C.-based law firm that specializes in complex civil litigation, crisis management and communications.
To date, Pressley has not issued a statement detailing her exit from the team.
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