A Timeline Of Bill Cosby's Fall From America’s Dad To Accused Sexual Predator

More than 20 women have come forward alleging the comedian assaulted them while two of his former co-stars speak out.

Update: This timeline has been updated to reflect recent developments.

The tide of accusations and fallout from the alleged sexual misconduct by comedian Bill Cosby continues to grow. While the 77-year-old former "Cosby Show" creator has gone to great lengths to ignore, refuse comment and deny the allegations, more than 20 women have now come forward.

In the latest twist, Cosby's TV wife, Phylicia Rashad, spoke out this week about what she called the "orchestrated... destruction" of the comedian's legacy. Her comments came as three new accusers joined the nearly two dozen women who's lurid claims against the star -- as well known for his kid-friendly Jell-O commercials and family oriented sitcoms as he is for his his G-rated, relationship-focused stand-up routines -- have cast the fatherly comedian in a very different light from his genial, Dr. Huxtable onscreen persona.

Here's what we've learned so far.

1997: Before the allegations, the long-married funny man 'fesses up to an extramarital affair initially reported to have produced a daughter.

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Cosby Show

The first rumblings of trouble in Cosby's TV paradise begin back in 1997, when he admits he'd had a sexual relationship with a woman named Shawn Upshaw, whose daughter, Autumn Jackson, she claimed was Cosby's. The comedian's paternity is never proven and Upshaw later serves two years in prison for trying to extort money from him.

Related: Growing Up ‘Cosby’: Why Cliff Huxtable Shouldn’t Have To Pay For The Sins Of Bill Cosby

2004: A Temple University accuser says Cosby turned from mentor to abuser.

Andrea Constand, the former director of operations of Temple University's women's basketball program, claims Cosby slipped her "herbal medication" for stress when she visited his Philadelphia mansion in 2004. After she took the "medication," Constand says, Cosby touched her breasts and genitals and sexually assaulted her.

2005: The Temple University accuser files suit against the "Cosby Show" star.

Constand hits Cosby with a civil lawsuit in which 13 other women come forward with similar accounts of drugging and sexual assaults by Cosby.

February 2005: Two more accusers emerge -- both with very similar stories.

Cosby with wife Camille in late 1960s.

Among the women who come forward are California lawyer Tamara Green, who had appeared on the "Today" show in 2005 alleging that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s in a fashion similar to the one Constand alleges. Cosby's lawyer denies that his client knew Green.

in June 2005, Beth Ferrier claims she had a sexual relationship with the married Cosby, which she says ended after he allegedly drugged and groped her.

2005: D.A. declines to press criminal charges against Cosby.

Constand had met Cosby several years earlier and considered him a mentor but when she contacts officials, the district attorney declines to press charges, citing lack of evidence. At the time, Cosby's lawyer calls the accusation "utterly preposterous."

The comic later settles the Constand civil suit out of court in November for an undisclosed amount and none of the 13 witnesses ever testifies.

June 9, 2006: One woman reveals she stayed silent because she feared the influential comedian, who seemed as powerful as "the president."

Another woman named in Constand's lawsuit, Barbara Bowman, tells Philadelphia magazine that Cosby threw her on a bed and attempted to forcefully disrobe her as she begged him to stop. She later describes how she was afraid to come forward despite continued incidents because she feared nobody would believe her.

February 2014: Tamara Green and Barbara Bowman get together to share their story with the world.

In an interview with Newsweek, both women talk about their alleged run-ins with Cosby, prompting the star's publicist to release a response to Green: "This is a 10-year-old, discredited accusation that proved to be nothing at the time, and is still nothing."

October 16, 2014: But we might not be talking about a Cosby scandal if Hannibal Buress hadn't put Bill on blast.

While the stories bubble under for years -- always strenuously denied by Cosby and his reps -- it takes a joke during comedian Buress' set in Philadelphia to re-ignite the smoldering story.

"It's even worse because Bill Cosby has the f--king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate," Burress, who is also black, tells a crowd. "'Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.' Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches."

(warning strong language)

Adding to the curiosity of the allegations, someone digs up a 1969 Cosby routine about drugging women's drinks with Spanish Fly.

November 6, 2014: Cosby's still not talking.

Aside from his odd stand-up gig, Cosby continues to stay quiet about the gathering storm of allegations. In a newly released Associated Press interview, Cosby refuses to answer questions about the allegations, saying, "I don't talk about it."

November 10, 2014: The damage-control meme that blew up in Cosby's face.

In an ill-conceived attempt to tamp down the story, Cosby launches an online meme-generator that turns into a flood of vitriolic slams against the comedian and the allegations. (The original solicitation tweet has since been taken down.)

November 14, 2014: Barbara Bowman goes all in, wondering why it took a male comedian's joke to get the conversation about rape started.

Bowman writes a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post on November 13 titled "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"

November 15, 2014: Cosby's TV bookings start to disappear after an awkward interview and another accuser writes a damming essay.

Cosby is asked about the allegations in a November 15 interview on NPR's "Weekend Edition." He refuses to respond though and sits silently.

Cosby subsequently cancels a planned November 19 appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman." (He had previously called off a spot on the "Queen Latifah Show" in October for undisclosed reasons.)

November 16, 2014: Two more women, including a high-profile model, come forward.

Another accuser, Joan Tarshis, comes forward on November 16, claiming Cosby drugged and assaulted her twice in 1969. Two days later, model Dickinson gives the first detailed account of how Cosby allegedly drugged and raped her in 1982.

The claims appear to cover nearly the entire span of the legendary comedian's career, from 1965 until at least 2004, with many women describing similar scenarios in which Cosby promised to help them with their careers, allegedly plying them with spiked alcoholic drinks.

November 19, 2014: Planned Cosby TV projects are suddenly off the table and the future is unclear.

During a month where Cosby's longevity was supposed to be celebrated with a new, praise-filled biography and an exhibition of his African-American art at the Smithsonian, the news turns to the cancellations of two planned TV programs.

Netflix postpones the planned November 27 airing of a Cosby stand-up special commemorating the comedian's 77th birthday, then NBC announces a prime time Cosby sitcom in development has been scrapped and TV Land quietly stops airing "Cosby Show" reruns.

December 1, 2014: Cosby's alma mater cuts ties.

"I have always been proud of my association with Temple University," Cosby says in a statement. "I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees." Cosby has served on the Board since 1982.

December 2014: Other universities step away from the tainted comic.

At a time when sexual assault on college campuses has been in the headlines thanks to Emma Sulkowicz's "Carry That Weight" mattress protest, several other schools cut ties with Cosby.

They include the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where Cosby received a master's and a doctorate in education and was made the honorary co-chairman of the school's $300 million fund-raising campaign.

The Berklee School of Music announces it will stop awarding a scholarship in the comedian's name and High Point University in North Carolina removes Cosby from its national board of advisers.

December 2, 2014: Cosby fans ask for refunds as still more accusers come forward.

Though Cosby -- who has not been charged with a criminal count in any of the cases so far -- continues to tour and be received well by some, one-third of the tickets to a previously sold-out December 6 show at the Tarrytown Music Hall are reportedly returned for refunds; at least three other shows booked for early 2015 are reportedly cancelled.

The list of women who've accused the comedian of alleged unwanted sexual advances or assaults grows beyond 20, including the wife of "Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno, former Playboy playmate Victoria Valentino and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" star Louisa Moritz.

December 2, 2014: Woman who claims Cosby assaulted her when she was a teenager files suit.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judy Huth, 55, claims that Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy mansion in 1974, when she was 15 years-old. Huth's suit -- which seeks unspecified damages for sexual battery and emotional distress -- alleges that Cosby gave her and a 16-year-old friend alcohol and took them to the mansion, where he allegedly forced her to perform a sex act on him.

December 11, 2014: First black supermodel Beverly Johnson pens essay describing an alleged attempted assault.

In an essay for Vanity Fair, Johnson describes a heated scene from the 1980s in which she claims Cosby invited her to audition for his sitcom, then attempted to drug and sexually assault her at his home.

January 6, 2015: TV co-star Phylicia Rashad comes to Cosby's defense, claiming someone is trying to keep the funnyman off TV.

"What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture," Rashad says in an interview.

Meanwhile, fellow "Cosby" co-star Keshia Knight Pulliam says the allegations against the comedian do not depict the man she knows, a philanthropist and the creator of a "groundbreaking" television show.

January 7, 2015: Three more accusers emerge, all with familiar stories.

Famed lawyer Gloria Allred holds a press conference with three women -- Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal and "Kacey" -- who all say that Cosby made sexual advances on them or assaulted them after slipping them or offering them unidentified drugs.

July 8, 2015: Disney, agency cut ties, Presidential Medal Of Freedom recall petition launched.

Just days after a judge unsealed a 2005 deposition in which Cosby admitted to buying sedatives to give to women he wanted to have sex with, Disney removed a bust of the comedian from a Florida theme park, two more networks dropped his programs and he was reportedly dropped by his long-time talent agency. A petition has also started asking President Obama to take back Cos's Presidential Medal of Freedom. Though the statute of limitations has elapsed on most of the alleged assaults, the LAPD also reportedly opened at least one criminal investigation.

Aug. 13, 2015: Three more accusers emerge, including a former 'Cosby Show' actress.

With a deposition looming on Oct. 9 (at which he will have to testify under oath in a sexual assault case), the list of women accusing Cosby grew to 49. Among them: actress Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer, who claimed Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him in 1971 during a meeting on a movie set, former American Airlines flight attendant Colleen Hughes, who said she agreed to lunch with Cosby and woke up hours later covered in semen and Eden Tirl, who appeared on "The Cosby Show" in 1989, where she says the comedian grabbed and hugged her in an overly intimate, intimidating way.

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