Bill Cosby unveiled his new defense team on Tuesday, Aug. 22 during a hearing in his sexual assault case in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
The comedian arrived at the Montgomery County Courthouse flanked by publicists Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson, but it was the flowing white locks of attorney Tom Mesereau that brought the dramatics to an otherwise procedural and excitement-less day.
“I think you can say we went from a Mercedes Benz to a Rolls Royce,” Wyatt said of Mesereau, the star trial attorney who successfully represented “Baretta” star Robert Blake when the actor stood trial for the murder of his wife.
Mesereau, who arguably does more pro bono work for underserved individuals than any other celebrity lawyer, has also represented Suge Knight and Mike Tyson.
But it was Mesereau’s Perry Mason-like defense of pop king Michael Jackson in 2005 that may have earned him the reputation as the best criminal defense lawyer on the planet.
Jackson faced 13 counts of child molestation and other charges involving a young cancer patient whose brother allegedly witnessed the assault.
After the “Thriller” singer fired high-profile attorneys Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman during the trial, he hired Mesereau who tore through prosecution witnesses with sharp and cutting cross-examinations.
On Tuesday, Mesereau was joined by Nevada attorney Kathleen Bliss and Philadelphia lawyer Sam Silver, who represented former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah on corruption charges in 2016.
The new team replaced Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa, both of whom represented Cosby during the first trial in June. Judge Steven O’Neill praised the attorneys but appeared to be in awe of Mesereau, commenting several times on his stellar reputation.
The attorney’s addition to the team appears to have already paid dividends as O’Neill granted Mesereau’s request to delay the start of the planned Nov. 6 retrial, postponing it until “sometime between March 15 and April 1 of 2018.”
Cosby, 80, faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault that stemmed from an encounter with former Temple University employee Andrea Constand more than a dozen years ago.
He has maintained his innocence and Wyatt said the comedian “is sleeping pretty good these days,” with the hiring of Mesereau and the new team.
Cosby went to trial in June, but the jury, brought in from Allegheny County, could not move beyond a deadlock after 52 hours of deliberations, leading O’Neill to declare a mistrial.
Immediately, prosecutor Kevin Steele said he would retry the case.
After the nearly two-hour proceeding on Tuesday, Cosby and his attorneys said nothing as they left the courthouse. Steele, however, made a few brief comments, saying it’s unfortunate that the case has been delayed.
“We’re ready to proceed … we are confident in our case and the evidence and we’ll be ready when we get a trial date from the judge,” Steele told reporters after the hearing. “This is a case that deserves a verdict and we intend to get there.”