Accusations and Cancellations: This Week in Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby performed during a show at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Fla., on Nov. 21.
Bill Cosby performed during a show at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Fla., on Nov. 21. –AP

Troubling allegations continue to surface about legendary comedian Bill Cosby, with numerous women coming forward to allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them throughout his career.

The charges have led to the cancellation of a new network television show, Netflix stand-up special and television appearances, as well as a number of dates on his ongoing comedy tour.

Cosby has not been charged with any crime.

Here’s the latest on the allegations:

Saturday, November 22:

• Under pressure from Bill Cosby’s lawyers, the National Enquirer killed a 2005 article based on senior writer Robin Mizrahi’s interview with Beth Ferrier, the second woman to accuse Cosby of sexual assault, The Guardian reports.


Negotiations between the magazine and Cosby’s lawyers ended with the agreement that “Cosby would provide an exclusive interview with the National Enquirer, if the National Enquirer would agree to refrain from printing the Beth Ferrier story.’’ (That’s according to court documents filed by Andrea Constand, the first woman to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct, in a lawsuit against Cosby’s lawyers and the magazine.)

The National Enquirer capitulated, dropping the original investigative article and replacing it with a far gentler celebrity exclusive that took the opposite tack, giving Cosby room to denounce the women accusing him. He said, “I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status.’’

The article’s suggestion that the women were attempting to take advangage of Cosby is what spurred Constand’s suit, which was settled for an “undisclosed sum’’ in 2006.

Gawker notes that Cosby’s team used the same intimidation strategy as recently as this week, when reporters at BuzzFeed were told in a letter to “proceed at your peril’’ after reporting on Janice Dickinson’s recent allegations against Cosby.

• Bill Cosby can still draw a crowd of fans despite his current state of affairs. On Friday night, Cosby was received by “an adoring audience’’ in Melbourne, Fla., one stop on his current comedy tour that was not canceled. Prior to taking the stage, Cosby explained to Florida Today why he has stayed largely silent on the mounting accusations from women who claim he raped them:

“I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.’’


• Two more women have come forward alleging that Cosby secretly drugged them before sexually assaulting them. Kristina Ruehli, 71, of New Hampshire, told Philadelphia Magazine that Cosby “must have drugged me’’ when he allegedly sexually assaulted her in 1965 while she was not fully conscious at his California home. Renita Chaney Hill, 47, claims Cosby cast her in his educational TV show for children and would serve her alcohol during her high school years. According to KDKA, Hill believes Cosby would lace those drinks with drugs and then sexually abuse her.

• An Oklahoma casino is the latest venue to cancel Cosby’s tour date, deciding it “is the best decision at this time,’’ reported KFOR in Oklahoma.

Friday, November 21:

• Cosby’s upcoming performances in Las Vegas and Illinois are canceled. His performance in Melbourne, Florida, scheduled for Friday night, is set to go on as planned.

Thursday, November 20:

• The fourth woman to come forward and accuse Cosby of sexual assault this month, Therese Serignese, tells The Huffington Post about her alleged encounters with the comedian. The now-57-year-old registered nurse from Florida claims that Cosby drugged and raped her in a Las Vegas bathroom in 1976. She was 19 at the time.

• Make that five: model-actress Angela Leslie tells New York Daily News that Cosby allegedly forced her to grope him in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1992.

• Cosby’s performance in Tucson, Arizona, scheduled for February 15, is canceled.

• In an event for a women’s service organization in the Bahamas, Cosby performs for the first time since the most recent sexual assault allegations against him became public. He does not mention the allegations. He receives a standing ovation.


Wednesday, November 19:

• Another woman comes forward: Carla Ferrigno, wife of actor Lou Ferrigno, claims that Cosby attempted to sexually assault her at a party in 1967. Ferrigno says she was a teenager at the time of the incident when the comedian forcibly tried to kiss her, even though his wife was in attendance.

NBC announces that the comedy series it was developing with Cosby has been canceled.

• Reruns of “The Cosby Show’’ are pulled from TV Land‘s schedule.

• The Associated Press posts a previously unseen part of an interview with Cosby and his wife where a reporter asks Cosby about the allegations:

Tuesday, November 18:

• In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,’’ supermodel Janice Dickinson accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1982.

Dickinson says that the comedian reached out to her for a possible job offer and the two met for dinner in Lake Tahoe. She claims that Cosby gave her a pill and a glass of wine during the meal, and she passed out soon after.

“I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man,’’ Dickinson told Entertainment Tonight. “I remember a lot of pain. The next morning I remember waking up with my pajamas off and there was semen in between my legs.’’

Dickinson also says that she tried to write about the incident in her 2002 autobiography “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel,’’ but Cosby and his lawyers pressured the publisher into removing any mention.

• Netflix shelves its Cosby stand-up special, “Bill Cosby 77.’’

Monday, November 17:

• A joint statement is released on Cosby’s website from his attorney and a representative of Andrea Constand, a woman whose lawsuit against the star was settled in 2006.

The statement is in response to a previous post on the site by Cosby’s attorney, which attempted to discredit the recent allegations against the comedian.

“The statement released by Mr. Cosby’s attorney over the weekend was not intended to refer in any way to Andrea Constand,’’ the post said. “As previously reported, differences between Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand years ago.’’

Sunday, November 16:

Hollywood Elsewhere publishes a story recounting former actress Joan Tarshis’s experiences with Cosby. She claims that the comedian drugged and raped her twice in 1969 when she was 19 years old. She is the first woman to accuse Cosby of sexual assault since several women came forward in the mid-2000s.

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