The entertainer once known as “America’s Dad,” arrived home having served three years of a three to 10-year sentence after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled he had been denied a fair trial in 2018.
Following his release, the 83-year-old appeared in a press conference outside his suburban Philadelphia home covered live by the major US TV networks.
He did not address journalists directly, however, instead relying on spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
A message has since been posted on Cosby’s official Twitter account, thanking fans who stood by him “through this ordeal”:
The release of Cosby, once one of the US’s most beloved figures but who faced dozens of assault accusations, provoked a strong reaction.
Three years ago he was convicted of drugging and assaulting Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
But on Wednesday the Pennsylvania court ruled the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge the TV star.
In a statement, Constand called the ruling “not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant”.
Gloria Allred, the high-powered lawyer who represented many of Cosby’s accusers, warned the comedian is “not home free” despite being released from prison.
The women’s rights activist said the conviction being overturned on technical grounds “did not vindicate (his) conduct and should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused”.
Speaking during a press conference held over Zoom from Los Angeles, Allred said now Cosby’s criminal case was over, she could pursue a civil complaint against the star.
She represents Judy Huth, who alleges when she was 15 Cosby attacked her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.
The case, being heard at Los Angeles Superior Court, has been paused while awaiting a conclusion in Pennsylvania.
Allred said she intends to have Cosby give evidence in the case and expects a trial date to be set “very soon”.