Bill Cosby — who claims he’s too blind to identify his sexual-assault accusers — could be exploiting his condition in a bid to win sympathy, some close to the case are speculating.
The 79-year-old shamed comic’s attorneys have said in legal papers that he “has suffered from a degenerative eye condition for years, which has steadily worsened recently to the point that he for [more than] a year has been legally and functionally blind.” They added in court papers, “Without his eyesight, Mr. Cosby cannot even determine whether he has ever even seen some of his accusers.” According to reports, Cosby suffers from keratoconus, a condition of the cornea that causes the eye to bulge.
But keratoconus experts say the condition is treatable and does not lead to blindness. Dr. Gregory Pamel, a leading corneal surgeon and clinical professor of ophthalmology at NYU School of Medicine who has specialized in keratoconus for 20 years, told Page Six, “Keratoconus is treatable. It can be treated with specialty contact lenses in most cases, which would give him some vision, if the condition isn’t too advanced. If he has scarring in his cornea, that could require surgery, a corneal transplant.” Pamel, who has not treated Cosby, further stated that the disease generally stops progressing in the patient’s late 40s, and then remains unchanged, while Cosby is in his late 70s. “I am surprised they are saying he is blind,” said Pamel.
“Keratoconus is not a blinding condition and should not be referred to in that way.” It is possible that Cosby is also suffering from other eye complications, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration — which, Pamel says, “can all be treated.”
A source close to the case told us that prosecutors feel Cosby’s eyesight claims are an attempt to gain sympathy. Deputy District Attorney Robert Falin blasted a note from Cosby’s doctor about his eyesight, saying, “It looks like something you might get at a LensCrafters.”
Cosby is accused of drugging and sexually abusing ex-Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. Prosecutors want 13 of the more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of assault to testify. Attorneys for Cosby didn’t get back to us.
This article was originally published in the NY Post.