PHILADELPHIA: Bill Cosby's lawyers admitted today that they wrongly accused prosecutors in his criminal sexual-assault case of withholding evidence, an assertion seething prosecutors blasted as "outrageous and reckless."
Members of Cosby's retooled defense team acknowledged in a court filing that they made the bold, headline-grabbing claim last month without realizing prosecutors had already told Cosby's former lawyer about interviewing a woman who cast doubt on his accuser.
Prosecutors said the former Cosby lawyer, Brian McMonagle, contacted them the day after the Cosby team made the allegations and that he confirmed being aware that the prosecution interviewed Marguerite Jackson before Cosby's first trial, which ended in a hung jury last June. A retrial is scheduled to begin April 2.
Cosby's lawyers claimed in a Jan 26 court filing that prosecutors failed to disclose the interview until recently and that detectives had destroyed their notes.
Prosecutors said they told McMonagle last year that no notes were taken.
"Facts matter," prosecutors wrote in their rebuttal, filed around the same time Monday that Cosby's lawyers were conceding their mistake.
"The facts and the truth were easily ascertainable," prosecutors said, but Cosby and his lawyers "just did not care to find them."
Instead, prosecutors said, Cosby's lawyers appeared to be more interested in shifting the narrative about the case than focusing on the truth.