Bill Cosby’s defense team fired accusations of racial discrimination as a jury made up of ten white jurors and two black jurors was seated today to decide the entertainer’s fate in what the AP calls “the biggest celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.”
“Cosby’s lawyers alleged a member of the prosecution team made a disparaging remark after a black woman was removed from consideration to serve on the jury in the 80-year-old comedian’s retrial on sexual assault charges,” the AP reports. “The defense didn’t reveal in open court what they claim had been said, but sought to use the remark as evidence that prosecutors illegally removed the woman from the jury pool on the basis of her race.”
The report adds: “Prosecutors pushed back, noting two black jurors had been seated, and the judge said he didn’t believe the prosecution had any ‘discriminatory intent.’
“Cosby’s lawyers eventually relented, and once jury selection resumed, three white men and a white woman were quickly placed on the panel. That brought the total number picked over three days to 12 — a full jury. Six alternates also have to be picked.”
The report notes that the racial and gender makeup of the jury is identical to the one that was unable to reach a verdict in Cosby’s original trial.