The Latest: Cosby says friends prompted his return to stage

Bill Cosby performs comedy at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. It was his first public performance since his last tour ended amid protests in May 2015. Cosby has denied allegations from about 60 women that he drugged and molested them over five decades. He faces an April retrial in the only case to lead to criminal charges. (AP Photo/Michael R. Sisak)

Bill Cosby says he made 1st public performance since sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015 because he wanted to enjoy being with his friends and the people who turned out to see him; retrial in assault case looms

PHILADELPHIA — The Latest on Bill Cosby's first public performance since 2015 while he awaits the start of his sexual assault case retrial (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

Bill Cosby says he made his first public performance since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015 because he wanted to enjoy being with his friends and the people who turned out to see him.

The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage Monday at a hometown Philadelphia jazz club in his first show since May 2015. He asked if the bass player's son knew who he was and deadpanned, "I used to be a comedian."

After the show he declined to talk about his upcoming retrial in a sexual assault case.

Cosby's last comedy tour ended amid protests as women were coming forward to accuse him of molesting them, which he denies.

Cosby is scheduled for an April retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his home in 2004. His first trial ended with a hung jury.

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8:25 p.m.

A friendly hometown crowd witnessing Bill Cosby's first public performance since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015 has applauded and laughed at his jokes.

The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage on Monday at a Philadelphia jazz club in his first show since May 2015. He asked if the bass player's 11-year-old son knew who he was and deadpanned, "I used to be a comedian."

Cosby posed for photos with friends, including a couple he honored at the start of his set. They all grew up in the same public housing complex.

Cosby's last comedy tour ended amid protests as women were coming forward to accuse him of molesting them, which he denies.

Cosby is scheduled for an April 2 retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

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7:45 p.m.

Bill Cosby has performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, telling stories, playing with a band and joking that he used to be a comedian.

The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage for an hour Monday at a Philadelphia jazz club in his first show since May 2015. He asked if the bass player's 11-year-old son knew who he was and deadpanned, "I used to be a comedian."

Cosby's last comedy tour ended amid protests as about 60 women were coming forward to accuse him of drugging and molesting them, something he has denied.

Cosby is scheduled for an April 2 retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. Jury selection will start March 29.

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7 p.m.

Bill Cosby is performing in his hometown as a spring retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault case.

The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage Monday night at a Philadelphia jazz club in his first public performance since May 2015. He's telling stories and honoring old friends.

Cosby's last comedy tour ended amid protests as about 60 women were coming forward to accuse him of drugging and molesting them over five decades, something he has denied.

Cosby is scheduled for an April 2 retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail. His first trial ended with a hung jury last year. Jury selection for his retrial will start March 29.

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6:45 p.m.

Bill Cosby has arrived at a Philadelphia club where he's scheduled to perform comedy as a spring retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault case.

The 80-year-old entertainer arrived at the jazz club Monday for his first public performance since 2015. He wore a gray hoodie with the "Hello Friend" phrase his late son often would say.

Cosby's last comedy tour ended amid protests as about 60 women were coming forward to accuse him of drugging and molesting them, something he has denied.

Cosby is scheduled for an April 2 retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail. His first trial ended with a hung jury last year. Jury selection for his retrial will start March 29.

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4:30 p.m.

Jury selection for Bill Cosby's criminal sex assault retrial will start March 29 in the suburban Philadelphia county where he's accused of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.

The 80-year-old entertainer's first trial had jurors from the Pittsburgh area, about 300 miles away. It ended in a mistrial when they couldn't reach a verdict after five days of deliberations.

This time, Montgomery County prosecutors and Cosby's new defense team have agreed to seek a local jury for the retrial, scheduled for April 2.

Cosby's former lawyers insisted on a jury from a different county because the case was an issue in the local district attorney's race.

Last time, it took three days to select 12 jurors and six alternates.

Cosby has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail.

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