Bill Cosby references #MeToo movement after meal at Philadelphia restaurant

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"At a dinner in Philadelphia on Thursday, comedian Bill Cosby asked a reporter not to turn his handshake into a "#MeToo" moment, right as he prepares to go to trial for alleged sexual assault. Philadelphia's The Inquirer reports that Cosby flew to Philadelphia, where he grew up, to meet an old friend at Ristorante La Veranda in Old City for some penne and other delicious Italian eats. One of those jokes, an Inquirer reporter said, was directed at her - and it was about the #MeToo movement.

Jurors couldn't agree the first time around whether to accept a woman's story that she was sexually assaulted over a decade ago by Bill Cosby.

"Please don't put me on MeToo", Bill Cosby told me (an apparent reference to #MeToo movement.) "I just shook your hand like a man".

In June, 2017, a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of whether Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted former Temple University women's basketball employee Andrea Constand, resulting in a mistrial.

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Legal experts say the seismic change in believing and supporting victims of sexual harassment and assault - and the near-immediate ramifications for so many famous men - will surely trickle into the Cosby retrial, slated to begin April 2. Cosby reportedly told the Inquirer that he's "ready" for the retrial, which is scheduled for April. Cosby was only charged in Constand's case. Cosby claimed the incident was consensual sex, and that he had given her an herbal remedy.

That reputation was slowly torn to pieces as dozens of women came forward, beginning in 2014, and accused him of sexual misconduct.

"I think the shift is here to stay", said Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia.

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