Bill Cosby has been sentenced to spend several years in prison, potentially his remaining years. The 81-year-old was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault back in April, and at his sentencing today, the judge described him as a "sexually violent predator."
He'll serve anywhere from three to ten years in prison, has been placed on the sex offender registry, and will be required to undergo counseling for the rest of his life. For what it's worth, Cosby's wife did not attend the sentencing.
Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in his home, but there were more than 60 women among his accusers. Her name is Andrea Constand, a Temple University women's basketball administrator, and in her victim impact statement, she says the events of that day had left her "in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or move forward."
By now, we've had time to let this all sink in. When the allegations of sexual misconduct broke back in 2014, most of us were shocked and unnerved to hear that one of America's most beloved comedians and TV stars was facing these accusations. And the stories kept getting worse.
A psychologist testified on Monday that Cosby showed signs of a mental disorder and would likely re-offend if set free. His attorneys had requested that he remain free on bail during the appellate process, but the judge denied that request, insisting that Cosby would be treated like anyone else.
This is the first big verdict of the #MeToo movement -- a high profile individual called to account for his actions against women. While the vast majority of us will believe justice has been served, it's still sad to imagine how a person that so many Americans looked up to as a role model, had this dark side that was hidden from most of us.
After the allegations became a media storm, TV Land pulled re-runs of the Cosby Show from its air. That certainly took money out of Bill Cosby's pocket, but he didn't need it anyway. The problem is that is also denied income to cast members like Lisa Bonet, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, and even Geoffrey Owens (who of late, has been in the news after being job-shamed). Owens acknowledges that lost income made it harder to make ends meet.
This may be the last we see of Bill Cosby. In time, I suspect people will learn to separate his talent from his personal demons. We'll be able to watch the Cosby Show again without feeling bad about it, or listen to one of his brilliant monologues. But talent doesn't make you a good person, and there is no excusing the deeply flawed Bill Cosby that hurt so many people.