Bill Cosby is calling his convicted extortionist's bluff--drawing blood for a paternity test to prove, once and for all, that he is not the young woman's father.
"The trial ended, but the court of public opinion did not," Cosby's attorney Jack Schmitt told the Associated Press. "It's time to end the nonsense."
Schmitt revealed on CNBC's Rivera Live last night that the 60-year-old entertainer was providing DNA samples "as we speak." And he challenged Autumn Jackson and her mother to do the same. (In paternity testing, DNA samples from the mother aren't absolutely necessary, but do help expedite the process.)
Jackson's lawyer, Robert Baum, also appearing on Rivera Live, promised to ask his client "first thing in the morning" if she was willing to provide blood samples. As of first thing this morning, there was no word as to whether or not that conversation took place, or what decision, if any, was reached.
Jackson, 22, was found guilty in federal court in New York last week of trying to extort $40 million from Cosby. Her trump card, according to prosecutors: If the Cos didn't put up, she wasn't going to shut up--threatening to blab to the tabloids that she was the illegitimate daughter of America's favorite TV dad.
Cosby has admitted to having an affair with Jackson's mother, Shawn Thompson, but has refuted any notion that he's Jackson's biological father. In court, the Cos said he once told Jackson, for whom he provided financial support during her youth: "I will be for you a father figure...but I am not your father."
Attorney Schmitt says Cosby is confident that a paternity test will show as much--and maybe even confirm that Jerald Jackson, the father listed on Jackson's birth certificate, is the real daddy.
There was talk following the conclusion of Jackson's trial last week that she would bring a paternity suit against Cosby. Baum denied this last night, saying it was just "something else she is considering."
At the same time, Baum seemed to try to soft-pedal the conclusions of a paternity test. "Autumn has spent her life believing this man, Mr. Cosby, is her father," he said on Rivera Live. "A paternity suit at this point would do no more than establish the legitimacy of that belief."
Jackson faces up to 12 years in prison following conviction on charges of extortion, conspiracy and crossing state lines to commit a crime. Two co-defendants were also found guilty for their roles in the scheme; although one, Boris Sabas, was acquitted of the extortion charge.