Ms. Benson blamed the media for the confusion. But sexual assault certainly seemed to be the focus of the talks when Ms. Benson and her colleague, Andrew Wyatt, announced they would happen on a television show, “Good Morning Alabama,” last week after Mr. Cosby’s trial ended with a hung jury.
“This issue can affect any young person — especially young athletes of today,” Mr. Wyatt said, “and they need to know what they are facing when they are hanging out and partying, when they are doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing.”
Ms. Benson had added that people particularly needed to be educated because the statute of limitations on sexual assault had been extended in some states and that “anything at this point can be considered sexual assault,” even, she said, “a brush against the shoulder.”
Mr. Cosby later tweeted to thank the show for talking to his representatives. But their comments drew immediate rebukes from several anti-sexual violence organizations.
In an email Thursday, Mr. Wyatt had elaborated, saying the speeches would be free and that Mr. Cosby was responding to requests from civic organizations and churches “to speak to young men and women about the judicial system.”
Ms. Benson told CNN on Sunday that their comments on the Alabama program had been misinterpreted by the media.
“This went way beyond a comment made from an interview by my colleague a couple of days ago when we initially talked about the town hall meetings, it was about restoration of legacy,” she said. “To take something meant to talk about the restoration of this man’s legacy that was destroyed by the media before he even had a chance to step into the courtroom. That’s what this is about.”
On Monday, Mr. Wyatt said in an interview that there had been no change. The focus of the town halls would be education and personal development for young people and cleaning up communities, he said. Mr. Cosby would…