Bill Cosby Acknowledges Sexual Assault Claims & Continues Pattern of Disrespectful Avoidance
The intrigue of the Bill Cosby case grows every day. By tweeting a message of thanks to the celebrities who have spoken up for him amid the myriad rape allegations, Bill Cosby spoke out on the sexual assault charges amassing against him. And, surprise, surprise, he didn't address anything head-on.
On Wednesday, Cosby tweeted messages to Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott, who have spoken out seemingly in his favor amidst the controversy. "Thank you @WhoopiGoldberg," he wrote, as well as, “Thank you @MissJillScott, from the Cosby Family."
During a fervent debate over the Cosby scandal on an episode of The View, Goldberg came to Cosby's defense, saying,
Perhaps the police might have believed [the allegation], or the hospital. Don’t you do a kit when you say someone has raped you? I hope somebody gets to the bottom of this, but I’m going to reserve my judgment because I have a lot of questions, as I said. It’s crazy, but I have a lot of questions, because I know we all have friends who have gone through this.
On Dec. 1, Scott criticized the media for tarnishing Cosby's "magnificent legacy" on Twitter. Thus far, 17 women have come forward publicly with allegations of sexual abuse by Cosby and the number has been growing consistently. Cosby previous status as a national treasure has been irrevocably altered, but if he is indeed guilty (which, with that many matching stories, seems highly probable), he's now being held accountable for his actions. Still, he is fighting it every step of the way.
From interviews with the Associated Press to NPR, he's been consistent in avoiding answering questions about the group of women (including Janice Dickinson and Carla Ferrigno) who have come forward to accuse The Cosby Show star of drugging and sexually abusing them. A couple weeks ago, he broke his formal silence on the matter to call the accusations "nonsense" and "ridiculous" in an interview with a Florida radio station.
Even if Cosby has addressed the issues and discredited them, his failure to discuss the allegations in any sort of thoughtful way smacks of guilty cowardice, in my opinion. His legal representation undoubtedly has plenty to do with his strategy of remaining almost mute on the topic, but his decision to write off the questions any ethical journalist would ask him about the ordeal isn't about legality. It reflects a personal disrespect for women and the situation at hand. Reaching out to people who have supported him through an extremely troubled time is something I can't totally fault Cosby for, but choosing to acknowledge the topic by singling out those who are on his side doesn't read as gracious. It reads as petty and self-righteous.
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.
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