Bill Cosby breaks silence following prison release

Bill Cosby breaks silence following prison release

Bill Cosby has broken his silence following his release from prison on Wednesday.

The Cosby Show star was officially released from prison on Wednesday afternoon, hours after judges at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed out the funnyman's 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University staff member Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

Cosby, whose conviction was quashed due to a "process violation" relating to a previous agreement not to prosecute, appeared before the media outside his home in Pennsylvania hours after his release but did not speak.

Instead, longtime spokesman Andrew Wyatt did the talking, saying: "On this hot day, this is a hot verdict for us that we will forever cherish."

However, later on Wednesday, Cosby broke his silence via Twitter, issuing a statement which read: "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law."

Constand and her lawyers also shared an official statement on Twitter. Calling the ruling "disappointing", they stated that they were concerned the decision "may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant."

Some of Cosby's alleged victims have also shared their reactions to the verdict, with model Janice Dickinson, who claimed Cosby raped her in 1982, telling Entertainment Tonight, "First of all, (I felt) so angry. So angry. Second, I felt like I was kicked in the stomach, in my abdomen, by some psychic blow."

Following the reaction to the ruling, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele insisted Cosby's release due to a "procedural issue" doesn't change his guilt or "the facts of the crime."