Sad. Interesting. Terribly unfortunate.
Those are the four words that immediately come to mind when I think of the seemingly growing list of rape and drugging allegations against Bill Cosby, once hailed as America’s favorite TV dad.
Though claims of sexual misconduct against Cosby were made public a decade ago–and quietly went away–the allegations resurfaced in mid-October when comedian Hannibal Buress called the veteran comedian and entertainer a “rapist” during his stand-up routine. Buress’ routine may have shone light on the claims but it was Cosby’s PR team that gave it new life. In early November, in an effort to deflect from the bad press, his PR team launched an online meme generator that resulted with references to the rape claims. It seems that things from that point got very rocky for Cosby, with more women coming forth with decades old rape accusations. Ex-supermodel Janice Dickinson was one of those women. Others say they were young actresses when it happened to them. Beverly Johnson, the former supermodel and first black woman to appear on Vogue’s cover, is the latest and most high profile of the accusers, telling Vanity Fair magazine that he drugged her in the mid-80s while she was at his Manhattan brownstone for an audition to appear on “The Cosby Show.” Johnson says she immediately realized she was drugged and called him a “mother——,” which upset him so much that he sent her home in cab. She appeared on “The View” Monday to discuss the experience.
The allegations also have resulted in several companies and institutions distancing themselves from the 77-year-old entertainer. NBC nixed plans for a new Cosby sitcom, TV Land pulled all syndicated reruns of “The Cosby Show” and Netflix postponed a Cosby stand-up comedy special that was supposed to debut on Nov. 28. Two weeks ago he resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University, his alma mater and a school to which he’s donated money. Longtime Cosby beneficiary Spelman College announced Monday that it would suspend the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship created from the $20 million Cosby and his wife of 50 years, Camille, gave the school in the 1980s.
Cosby’s remained mostly silent amid these claims save for his brief conversation with the New York Post Friday about understanding the black press’ need to remain “neutral” and his wife’s support. Camille Cosby, who remained silent for weeks, dismissed the allegations via a statement released late Monday.
Cosby hasn’t been charged with any crimes though his reputation has undoubtedly been tarnished. Judy Huth, who claims he drugged and sexually abused her when she was 15 after bringing her to the Playboy Mansion in the 1970s, has filed sexual battery lawsuit against him while Tamara Green, who claims he drugged and sexually assaulted her, filed a defamation suit against him. He settled a civil suit with another woman in 2006 over an alleged incident two years earlier, according to the “Today” show. Whether you believe the rape and drugging allegations are true or not, one thing can be said: it’s a horrible situation for all involved.
This story has received a lot of coverage over the past two or so months. I’ve selected videos from various media outlets that address these serious allegations. Check out more XFINITY.com videos from the “Today” show and “CBS This Morning.”
Watch: Camille Cosby asks “Who is the victim?” surrounding abuse claims
Watch: Beverly Johnson discuss claims Bill Cosby drugged her on “The View”
Watch: Debbie Allen tell “Today” Bill Cosby allegations are “hard to believe”
Watch: Janice Dickinson accuses Bill Cosby of rape
Watch: The “Today” show discuss Bill Cosby’s legacy
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.