Bill Cosby may have refused to discuss numerous rape allegations against him during an interview with NPR's Scott Simon this past weekend (and via a statement from his lawyer denying the claims), but that hasn't stopped numerous celebrities from coming to his defense in light of the reported accusations. As reported earlier, numerous women have begun to publicly step forward to claim that Cosby raped them in previous years, following a stand-up routine from comedian and Broad City star Hannibal Buress that brought up the rape allegations against Cosby — which have been reported on, though not widely, in the past — last month.
"If you didn’t know about it, trust me," Buress said during the routine, which took place at the Trocadero in Philadelphia on October 16. "You leave here and google 'Bill Cosby rape.' It’s not funny. That s**t has more results than Hannibal Buress."
Since Buress' routine went viral, women alleging that they were victims of Cosby in the past have begun to step forward, including model Janice Dickinson.
Despite overwhelming accusations against him, Cosby has not been formally charged with anything relating to the alleged crimes — which has led some celebrities, including names like Whoopi Goldberg, to come to Cosby's defense. In fact, even in light of multiple women stepping forward with claims of abuse, there are quite a few people defending Cosby:
During an episode of The View on Monday, Goldberg (who also publicly came to the defense of director Roman Polanski, who was charged with statutory rape in 1977 for raping a 13-year-old girl) stated that she has "a lot of questions for" Barbara Bowman, one of the women accusing Cosby of rape. "Quite honesty, you know, look, I’m sorry, having been on both sides of this where people allege that you do something, it doesn’t matter now.... I’m going to reserve my judgment because I have a lot of questions, as I said," she said. "It’s crazy, but I have a lot of questions, because I know we all have friends who have gone through this."
Goldberg then went on to call someone being falsely accused of rape "awkward," something that her The View co-anchor, Nicolle Wallace, retorted with, "It’s more than awkward, it’s a tragedy! Either 13 women were raped by someone too powerful to face the criminal justice system or an innocent man is being falsely accused."
A longtime friend of Cosby's, legendary saxophonist Tony Williams is another celebrity that's come to the comedian's defense in light of the allegations. During an interview with Fox Philadelphia (you may view it here), Williams said he believes people are searching for "positive notoriety" by going after Cosby, because Cosby is famous. "No, No. He don't have to rape anybody.... It did make me angry because I felt it was a lie," Williams said.
Always one to fill the airwaves with disgusting, hate-filled rants, Rush Limbaugh also came to Cosby's defense when he stated during his show that the allegations against the comedian weren't important because, and I quote, "It’s not like he did it yesterday."
Seriously. That's verbatim. Limbaugh later attempted to turn the allegations being reported by news outlets like CNN into a conspiracy of some sort, stating during the same episode, "And I asked myself, what did Bill Cosby ever do to tick off some producer at CNN? Or some reporter? Or some assignment? What happened here?"
While this isn't an outright defense of Cosby, it's close enough to be considered one. While interviewing Joan Tarshis, one of the women who has come forward publicly with allegations that Cosby raped her 45 years ago, CNN's Don Lemon asked Tarshis this cringe-worthy, downright victim-blaming question about the alleged attack she described:
"Because I know some of you — and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said 'I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do — if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife...' And you said he made you perform oral sex," Lemon began. When Tarshis simply responded with "Right," Lemon continued: "You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it."