UPDATE: (November 17, 9:30 a.m.) Another rape accuser has come forward. In an essay, Joan Tarshis, a former actress, music industry publicist and journalist, claims Bill Cosby drugged and raped her twice when she was 19 years old.
Controversy surrounding the many sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby has resurfaced. Most recently because of a cancelled appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and an interview with NPR that aired yesterday (November 15), in which Cosby blatantly refused to make any comment on the enormous allegations that have been brought against him.
While neither CBS nor the comedian would confirm who made the Letterman cancellation, Cosby also recently chose to cancel a scheduled appearance on Queen Latifah's talk show. In the NPR interview, Cosby sat silently as journalist Scott Simon questioned him on the matter forNPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. Cosby, who was there with his wife Camille to discuss their collection of African art on loan to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, simply shook his head.
"This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby," Simon said. "But there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days." After a beat of silence, Simon stated "You're shaking your head, 'No.'" Cosby went on to decline comment a total of three times on the matter.
The allegations against Cosby are nothing new, but they were reignited when comedian and "Broad City" star Hannibal Buress, addressed the matter onstage during a Philadelphia performance. Burress listed some of the facts about the case—including that Cosby has been accused of sex crimes against 13 women over the last twenty years—and called him a rapist.
He has never been convicted of any crime — all the cases brought against Cosby have been settled out of court, most notably in 2005, when a woman named Andrea Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby that included testimony from 13 other women. The suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money, but Constand later opened up about the incident in detail in 2006.
And as recently as this Thursday (November 13), former actress Barbara Bowman wrote a first person piece for The Washington Post, stating that Cosby drugged and raped her multiple times while he was serving as a mentor to her. She also pointed out that it took a man calling out Cosby for the public outcry about the situation to begin again.
About a week ago, Cosby tweeted a meme-generator to let fans create their own memes, which went predictably awry and continued to highlight the comedian's assault allegations.
In the wake of all this, today Cosby's lawyer finally issued a statement on behalf of the comedian on his website:
"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives. - John P. Schmitt, lawyer for Bill Cosby."
NBC recently announced a new sitcom project with Cosby. As of press time, the show is still in the works.