Inside the courthouse in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the sexual-assault retrial of comedian Bill Cosby is an adults-only affair. Foul language and graphic descriptions of sex and drugs dominate. It’s certainly no place for children.
But outside the historic old building along Swede Street in sleepy Norristown, Kelly Malave and her 9-year-old daughter, Izzabella, patiently await the end of the proceedings so that they can lend words of encouragement to their idol.
On Friday, April 13, after a lengthy day of testimony from Cosby’s accuser Andrea Constand, mom and daughter’s daily vigilance has already paid off.
The legendary comic, who’s often whisked to a waiting SUV by his personal assistants and a gaggle of armed sheriff deputies, waved Kelly and Izzabella over.
“How are you today?” Cosby asked.
A smiling Izzabella, who had previously forgotten to bring a book she wanted Cosby to sign, was ready this time.
“He signed my book, I’m so happy,” Izzabella said.
The book, “Little Bill,” are scholastic books written by Cosby that are designed to help children cope with tough social situations. A long-running television series based on the books aired on Nick Jr.
Once an “Oprah’s Book Club” selection, the American Library Association listed the books among its most banned and challenged in 2016 because of the charges against Cosby.
None of that has stopped Kelly from bringing her daughter to support the fallen icon.
“She loves ‘Little Bill’ because of me,” the enthusiastic mom said. “I grew up on ‘Little Bill’ and it’s very educational, so why not?”
The seed was planted days earlier when Cosby spokeswoman Ebonee Benson noticed the mom and daughter duo each evening as the comedian and his team walked from the courthouse to his car.
Kelly Malave had met eyes with Benson through the group of security around Cosby and the two gates that separate onlookers from the courthouse walkway.
“Bring the book and I’ll make sure that he signs it,” Benson told Malave.
For several days, Malave and Izzabella forgot the book, but said they were just happy to see the real-life and very much grown-up “Little Bill.”
“We are here to show our support because people only know what they read in a lot of these newspapers and see on the news, but they don’t know what’s really going on it that courthouse and that Mr. Cosby is innocent,” Malave said.
On Friday, she and her daughter finally got a chance to tell Cosby that themselves.
“I told him, ‘Thank you,’” Izzabella said shortly after Cosby called the two over and the gang of law enforcement allowed mother and daughter to approach the star. “I told him that I love ‘Little Bill,’ and he said, ‘thank you’ and he was so nice.”
Malave vowed they’ll continue to show support each day going forward.
“Izzabella will never forget this and neither will I,” she said. “Why not? He’s innocent and besides, he paid this girl all of that money, so we shouldn’t even be here.”