Attorney Monique Pressley
Attorney Monique Pressley is quickly becoming a household name for the manner in which she is defending actor-comedian Bill Cosby in the legal courts and in the court of public opinion. In fact, she is even being compared to the now-iconic television character, played by Kerry Washington, who can “handle” even the most hopeless of cases.
“Bill Cosby went and hired a real life Olivia Pope. #MoniquePressley,” tweeted comedian Jason Russ.
Many agree that Cosby’s situation—being accused by more than 30 women of drugging and raping them and of other alleged improprieties—would require a person of the fictional Pope’s deft touch and competence. And Pressley, they say, is meeting that challenge as evidenced in numerous media appearances in which she not only breaks down the legalese in a way the average person can understand, but also provides a vigorous defense for her famous client.
After discussing the case on “The Tom Joyner Show,” for example, Joyner was stunned into admitting, “You know, Monique Pressley, I’ve never heard of you before, before this, except being on Roland’s show, just listening to you, just now, I think Bill Cosby has chosen a very good attorney because you broke that down.”
The Washington, D.C.-based lawyer has also not been shy about calling out journalists for slipshod or what she may have perceived as biased reporting. For example, when a CNN anchor questioned why Cosby was not “asserting his innocence,” Pressley calmly but firmly replies: “That’s exactly what I’m here to do. What do you mean?” She later challenges, “I know that you know—because you’ve been in the business a long time—that people who are charged with crimes have a right to remain silent. And, they don’t have an obligation to prove their innocence; it’s the people that are charging them that have an obligation to prove beyond a reasonable doubt their guilt. And if every time Mr. Cosby opens up his mouth he gets sued by another person with false allegations who is looking to make some money, then it becomes risky to say anything at all. So, under the good advice of counsel he’s letting me do the talking for him.”
Pressley similarly went head-to-head with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont-Hill, a Morehouse College professor, prompting comments on social media like that of TheHBCUWiz, who said, “No one has ever made @MarcLamontHill look as intellectually shallow as @MoniquePressley when she appeared on Huff Post Live. She bodied him!”
The Howard University graduate has also been racking up wins in the courtroom. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Cosby, citing insufficient evidence. And, the California Court of Appeals ruled in their favor, preventing former model Janice Dickinson’s effort to depose Cosby for her defamation suit.
Similarly, Pressley and her team have filed counterclaims against several of Cosby’s accusers—including a defamation suit against former supermodel Beverly Johnson. And, they have filed a motion to disqualify Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Kevin Steele, and a writ of habeas corpus to dismiss the aggravated indecent sexual-assault charges Steele brought against Cosby in December, saying they were “illegally, improperly, unethically” filed.
“She is a rising Johnny Cochran – brilliant legal mind,” Twitter user Kouri C. Marshall said in another oft-repeated comparison to the infamous lawyer who secured the acquittal of football legend O.J. Simpson on charges of murdering his wife.
And, perhaps in the ultimate tribute, social media user Kyle Alexander Murray advocated: “@MoniquePressley for president.”