Embattled comedian Bill Cosby broke his extended silence Sunday on the allegations of rape against him, and on Monday, Cosby's wife of 50 years followed suit.
"He is the man you thought you knew," Camille Cosby said in a statement released Monday afternoon, NBC News' Craig Melvin confirmed. "There appears to be no vetting of my husband's accusers," she continued, casting doubt on the media reports against him.
"We all followed the story of the article in ... Rolling Stone concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia," Camille Cosby said. "The story is heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband -- until that story unwound."
Bill Cosby broke his silence Sunday in an exclusive interview in the New York Post. “Let me say this,” the 77-year-old star told the Post over the phone from his home in Massachusetts on Friday. “I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism, and when you do that, you have to go in with a neutral mind.”
Despite multiple allegations that Cosby drugged and/or sexually assaulted more than 20 women over several decades, the legendary comic has received some support from prominent members of the African-American community, including singer Jill Scott and actress Whoopi Goldberg.
Cosby has never been charged with a crime, and he previously denied some allegations. For his part, Cosby’s lawyer Marty Singer has denied all allegations against his famous client.
In recent weeks, a 55-year-old woman filed a civil suit against Cosby for allegedly assaulting her at the Playboy mansion 40 years ago; Tamara Green, a woman who first accused Cosby of sexual assault in 2005, filed a new complaint against Cosby; and iconic model Beverly Johnson penned a harrowing personal essay in Vanity Fair accusing Cosby of drugging her with the intention of sexual assault in the 1980s. Singer has dismissed the allegations as “unsubstantiated” and “fantastical.”
Still, the ubiquitous, negative press coverage has forced Cosby to cancel several dates on his ongoing stand-up comedy tour and may have permanently tarnished his public image. Spelman College, the historically black women’s college in Atlanta is the latest institution to distance itself from Cosby in the wake of the controversy.
Additional reporting by Adam Howard.