Bill Cosby comments on sexual assault allegations in first public interview in 2 years

Bill Cosby's criminal trial over allegations he sexually assaulted then-Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004 is set to begin June 5.

With that backdrop, Cosby granted a rare interview to Michael Smerconish on his radio program on the SiriusXM POTUS channel, during which Cosby said that he will not testify at his upcoming trial. The program aired Tuesday morning at 10am.

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In the interview, Smerconish asked Cosby if public perception of him has changed simply due to the sheer volume of women who accused him of sexual assault.

"I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the numbers didn't work," said Cosby. "So the piling on so to speak is a way, and certainly an impressive way, to get public opinion to come to the other side."

See photos of Bill Cosby through the years:

"Are you telling me that they're all lying?" Smerconish asked.

"You know better than that," Cosby replied. "I won't and I cannot answer that. It's really not fair and you know that because all I have to do is say something similar to that and next thing I know the postman is carrying a big bag...defamation, defamation, defamation."

In a preview on CNN, Cosby criticized the motives of those accusing him. "Nefarious is a great word. And I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that," said Cosby.

In the same interview, Cosby's daughter Ensa said – again, per CNN – "I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him, and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal."

On Monday, Smerconish released a preview of the chat:

On advice from his lawyers, Cosby couldn't explicitly say he'd want to tour if exonerated, but he spoke of wanting to "give what I feel will be motivational and informational and drive people to make changes in themselves and the home life."

"I want people to understand my work as an artist, a performer," Cosby told Smerconish before closing the interview. "I owe a great deal to people who saw things in me. And in many ways, in many ways, I returned the favors. Gloria Steinem had a very interesting quote; she said 'The truth shall set you free, but first it might piss you off.'"

See photos of Bill Cosby's accusers: