Comedian Bill Cosby has broken his silence in the wake of renewed rape allegations against him — to explain why he’s not talking.
In an exclusive Nov. 6 interview with the Associated Press, the legendary comedian made his first public statements on the controversy swirling around him.
“No, no we don’t answer that,” Cosby said when first asked about fellow comedian Hannibal Buress’ resurrection of accusations from several women, including former model Janice Dickinson, that he drugged and raped them.
“There’s no response. There is no comment about that. And I’ll tell you why. I think you were told I don’t want to compromise your integrity but we don’t, I don’t, talk about it,” Cosby said. Cosby has been criticized for refusing to publicly address in detail the allegations being made against him.
After the interview formally ended, the still-miked 77-year-old asked the AP reporter conducting the Q&A to “scuttle” his remarks and questioned whether that segment of their conversation has any “value.”
“We’ve reached the point of absurdity,” Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, said of Louisa Moritz, one of Cosby’s accusers. “The stories are getting more ridiculous. … I think people are trying to come up with these wild stories in order to justify why they have waited 40 to 50 years to disclose these ridiculous accusations.”
Cosby has not been charged with any crime and has denied committing any sexual assaults.
Still, the controversy around Cosby has cost him a sitcom that was in development with NBC and has led to the postponement of a planned Netflix stand-up special entitled “Cosby 77.” The network declined to comment further. Meanwhile, TV Land has stopped airing repeats of his iconic sitcom “The Cosby Show.”
However, two planned live performances this month in Florida and Las Vegas are going on as scheduled. Cosby’s management said Wednesday, “Mr. Cosby is a well-respected member of the entertainment community and one of America’s most beloved performers. While we are aware of the allegations reported in the press, we are only in a position to judge him based on his career as an entertainer and humanitarian. His sold out show at the King Center for the Performing Arts this Friday, November 21 will go on as scheduled.” Cameras will not be allowed in the theater.
Cosby will also appear at Las Vegas’ Treasure Island hotel on Nov. 28. “All of his shows here have been sellouts; we have no reason to think that this one won’t be, too.” a representative for the hotel told NBC’s “TODAY”. “However, if anyone wants to return his or her tickets, he or she is welcome to, just as is our policy with all of our shows.”
Meanwhile, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has called for a Dec. 5 dinner which was to feature Cosby to be canceled. “The Dec. 5 dinner at Freed-Hardmann University near Jackson is for a worthy cause. But that doesn’t obscure the fact that it also honors a credibly accused sex offender,” SNAP said in a statement.
While SNAP acknowledges that Cosby has never been charged with a crime or convicted, “the sheer number of allegations he faces, however, and the credibility of those accusers makes most people accept the very likely reality that he did in fact sexually assault at least some - if not all - of these women.” Scheduled appearances by the comedian on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Queen Latifah Show” have also been canceled.