Cosby, 77, was hit by an avalanche of accusations as women, one-by-one, came forward to tell their harrowing experiences.
The alleged assaults all fit a pattern. Cosby would gain his alleged victim’s confidence, find a way to be alone with her and slip her a drug in a drink.
The victim would become unconscious and later wake up, sometimes undressed, with hazy recollections of being assaulted. In nearly all cases, the victims chose to not speak out because of Cosby’s reputation.
Largely through his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hit TV series “The Cosby Show,” he became a national icon and a spokesman for African-American achievement. It was the first show to ever portray an upper-middle class African-American family on television.
Cosby also became active in education, earned a PhD and became a motivational speaker. But always lurking just beyond his public profile were scattered accusations about his alleged conduct.
He was sued for sexual misconduct by a Pennsylvania woman in 2005 and settled the case out of court. The woman had lined out at least five other alleged victims to testify. The case drew limited exposure in the media.
But last October, Hannibal Buress, an African-American comedian blew the lid off the allegations when he referenced them in one of his stand-up routines.
Cosby has been on the defensive ever since. On tour with a one-man show “Far From Finished”, he’s been booed and picketed on several occasions and has been forced to cancel some appearance. But he’s been greeted warmly at others.
Cosby has never been charged with any crimes related to the allegations. Celebrity lawyer Marty Singer has called accusers liars and fabricators, prompting at least one lawsuit for defamation.
He took the same tack during his appearance today on ABC’s Good Morning America. Asked what he would say if a young person asked him about the allegations, Cosby replied.
I’m telling you where the road is out. I’m telling you where, as you’re driving, you’re going to go into water and it looks like it might only be three inches deep, but you and your car are going to go down…Now you want to go here or you want to be concerned about who’s giving you the message?”
In other words, do as I say not as I do and deny, deny, deny.
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