In the final moments before Bill Cosby was to be sentenced for drugging and sexually assaulting his accuser Andrea Constant, journalist Stacy Brown said he received a call from the embattled actor.
“The day Cosby was to be sentenced, he called me while en-route to the courthouse,” recalled Brown. “He was due in court in about thirty minutes. “I said to him, ‘Mr. Cosby, don’t you have an appointment?’ To which he said, ‘I’m not worried about that. How is your boy doing?’”
According to Brown, Cosby’s concern originated from a situation concerning his son that he had shared with the famous celebrity’s crisis manager Andrew Wyatt. Brown said that Wyatt then shared that information with Cosby.
“Bill Cosby would call my house to check on my son,” said Brown. “On the day he called me prior to being sentenced, we spoke about a half hour. He literally had two minutes to be in the courtroom, and that was the last time we spoke.”
Once adored by millions as the lovable patriarch “Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable” on The Cosby Show, Cosby, 81, at the time of his sentencing, would be sentenced to three to 10 years in a Pennsylvania state prison. Brown’s interaction with Cosby leading up to the trial, which he describes as a “Kangaroo Court”, are among the many fascinating stories found in his new book, Celebrity Trials: Legacies Lost, Lives Shattered, So What’s the Real Truth.
The Cosby trial is among three celebrity trials covered in the book. The other two are the trials of the late singer Michael Jackson, and former football great O.J. Simpson. Jackson stood trial in 2005 for molesting a 13-year-old boy and was acquitted on all charges.
“My regular publisher wanted me to write a book about Michael Jackson and his family,” recalled Brown referring to publishing company Simon & Schuster. “I really didn’t want to do that. I knew I would get bombarded by messages from crazy Michael Jackson fans and his family. But then the documentary ‘Leaving Netherland’ came out, and they didn’t want to risk a legal battle with Michael Jackson’s estate.”
He added, “It gave me an out, and I decided to combine my coverage of the Michal Jackson trial with the Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson trials.”
Brown, who is a Baltimore Times Staff Writer, provided some “inside scoop” on the book.
“I covered Cosby’s trial, and was the only reporter to talk with him during the trial,” said Brown, who covered the case for the National Newspaper Publishers Association President (NNPA). “He invited me back to a private sitting room to discuss the case during breaks in the trial.”
He added, “I have been a journalist for 25 years, and saw things taking place during that trial that I couldn’t believe I was seeing. Cosby had the burden of proof in my estimation and anyone who was there would say it was something that should not have been tried.”
Brown, who said he was a prosecution witness in the Jackson trial, frequently visited Jackson’s Neverland ranch. He reflected back on his visits to the music icon’s 2,700-acre property in California.
“The best vacation was my honeymoon”, said Brown. “The next best vacation was Neverland. It was the most amazing place I have ever been, and Michael Jackson treated his visitors like royalty.”
He added, “Michael Jackson also had a book for all of his guests to sign. I saw names which included Serena Williams in the book. The place was unbelievable. I’m sure I’ll never see a place like that again.”
Brown, who is a native of New York, is also the co-author of Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway and her son, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider’s Account of the King of Pop.
In addition to writing for The Baltimore Times and NNPA, Brown’s ‘storied’ journalism career also includes writing for The Informer, BlackPressUSA.com and The L.A. Times.
He and his wife have five children.
Brown also shared another name that he saw in Jackson’s guest book at Neverland, which also appears in his book – O.J. Simpson. Simpson was tried for two counts of murder in the 1994 deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of all charges the following year.
“O.J.’s trial was all about timing,” said Brown. “Timing is everything. O.J. said to me, ‘it’s all about having the best lawyers. He never said, ‘no, I’m not guilty. No, I didn’t do it.’ I believe O.J. Simpson is guilty. O.J., in my view, got away with murder.”
To read more of Brown’s behind-the-scenes insights into the legal battles of Cosby, Jackson and Simpson, you’ll have to purchase his book. “Celebrity Trials: Legacies Lost, Lives Shattered, So What’s the Real Truth” sells for $19.00 on Amazon and is available on Kindle for $9.99.