'Cosby: The Women Speak' Will Focus On Bill Cosby's Accusers & The TV Special Is So Important
It seems that every other day, the world hears new, shocking allegations against comedian Bill Cosby. The once-beloved sitcom star and American icon has been accused of sexual assault by over 50 women dating back to the '60s, and Cosby refuses to speak on most of the claims. He hasn't been convicted of any crime, and many of the sexual assaults that Cosby has been accused of now fall outside of the statute of limitations. Still, the accusations against the comedian are disturbing, and most are very similar in detail, with many of the women claiming that Cosby used drugs to subdue them prior to his alleged assaults. Now, some of these accusers are describing their alleged experiences with Cosby in a new special, Cosby: The Women Speak.
The A&E special will air Thursday, Sept. 17, and the promo for the special is already chilling. In the clip, several of Cosby's accusers hold up a picture of who they were when they were allegedly assaulted. The first woman to speak admits that at the time of the alleged attack, she was excited to meet Cosby, as he was a huge star with enormous influence. Now, though, she and other women with similar stories are anything but starstruck: as the promo states, they just want to tell their sides of the story. As one of the accusers says, "I think a lie always sees the light." The special will be their chance to share the stories they feel are so important to tell.
This isn't the first time that Cosby's accusers are speaking out. Recent months have seen many women stepping forward to tell their sides of the story, even some whose accusations go back decades. Therese Serignese, a nurse, claimed in the Huffington Post that Cosby raped her in 1976, following a show that he had invited her to in Las Vegas. She was the seventh woman to identify herself as a victim of Cosby's alleged sexual assaults. When asked why she chose to tell her story, she said:
I'm still angry about what he did, and I'm angry that he pretends he didn't do these things," she said. "And he owes every one of us a sincere apology. I don't want to carry this after he dies without him apologizing. This is a man that everybody said, 'What a great guy this is!' 'This is Mr. Family Man!' -- and I knew he wasn't. I know he's a rapist... I just wanted someone to hear me.
It has taken years, but many of Cosby's accusers, like Serignese, are finally being heard. In July, New York Magazine published a cover story that featured photos and interviews with 35 of Cosby's alleged victims. Their stories of the alleged incidents are horrifying, yet so important for the world to hear: the claims against Cosby have been swept under the rug for far too long, and now it's time that the people who are making these accusations have a chance to speak.
In November, Cosby's lawyer responded to the allegations, saying,
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
We may never know what really happened with Cosby and these women, but it would be a crime to let that fact silence the many, many women who claim that something horrible happened to them at the hands of a celebrated Hollywood star. These women deserve a platform, and I want to hear what else they have to say.