Bill Cosby Preliminary Hearing
Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage

In his first public interview in more than two years, Bill Cosby said that racism might be partly responsible for the allegations of sexual assault against him, and that his accusers are “piling on” charges to court public opinion.

Speaking to SiriusXM host Michael Smerconish for a segment airing Tuesday, Cosby was asked about his daughter Ensa Cosby’s recent assertion that “racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal.”

“Could be, could be,” Cosby said. “I can’t say anything, but there are certain things that I look at, and I apply to the situation, and there are so many tentacles. So many different — nefarious is a great word. And I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”

When Smerconish noted that Cosby’s accusers are both black and white, the comedian replied, “Let me put it to you this way: When you look at the power structure, and when you look at individuals, there are some people who can very well be motivated by whether or not they’re going to work. Or whether or not they might be able to get back at someone. So if it’s in terms of whatever the choice is, I think that you can also examine individuals and situations and they will come out differently. So it’s not all, not every, but I do think that there’s some.”

Cosby, 79, is scheduled to go to trial next month on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania mansion in January 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and denies similar claims from more than 50 other women. Cosby’s lawyers have previously asserted that he “is no stranger to discrimination and racial hatred.”

Elsewhere in his interview with Smerconish, Cosby was asked whether the sheer number of women accusing him of misconduct lends credence to their charges.

“I think that the numbers came because the numbers prior to the numbers didn’t work,” Cosby said. “So the piling on, so to speak, is a way — and certainly an impressive, impressive way — to get public opinion to come to the other side.”

Cosby’s full interview with Smerconish will air Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s channel 124.