Bill Cosby has defended himself against most of the sex scandals against him. However the problems he is going through must send a signal to all popular figures to be careful, by managing very well their popularities as they go about their activities at footballers, boxers, film actors, musicians, politicians and men of God. All these people must take note of this; as people come to you in their numbers be quick in reading their minds to know those who are in to seduce you and those who have good intentions towards you. The following reveals a brief account of how it all begun and what Bill Cosby is going through.
The original allegation, made by Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in 2005, was shocking: Could beloved comedian and TV dad Bill Cosby be guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman?
After Constand’s civil lawsuit against Cosby was settled out of court in 2006, the scandal began to fade from the headlines. That year, PEOPLE published a story featuring three interviews with women who came forward by name to say Cosby similarly drugged and assaulted them. Today more than 40 women have claimed they allegedly fell victim to an icon who they say they once trusted. Cosby, through his attorneys, has repeatedly denied the allegations. But Constand never stood entirely alone.
After her lawsuit was settled, Constand was prohibited from talking about her case. That shifted focus to 13 “Jane Does” who, in court, were willing to back up Constand’s story with their own – and the three of them who trusted PEOPLE to share their detailed accounts nearly nine years ago. (Jennifer Thompson, another Jane Doe who spoke to PEOPLE anonymously in 2006, told her story by name this year). Read PEOPLE’s original story here:
As in so many cases alleging sexual assault, these women make imperfect witnesses. They are talking about events two or three decades old. Many of their recollections are fragmentary, and in some cases, they are not even sure what happened between them and Cosby, though that is not unusual in cases where a possible date-rape drug is involved. None of the women ever contacted police with their stories, either at the time of the alleged assaults or in the years leading up to Constand’s revelations, and two of the five women reached by PEOPLE allowed Cosby to pay part or all of their travel and/or living expenses for some time. Three accepted cash from him years after the incidents, and two even went on to have consensual relationships with him.
But none of them stand to profit from suing Cosby for monetary damages; the statute of limitations on all their charges has expired. And their stories, which take place in several cities and span two decades, illustrate the same pattern of behavior, primarily the accusation that Cosby, then one of the most powerful entertainers alive, targeted them because they were vulnerable and gained their trust by promising to help their careers. PEOPLE contacted Cosby to get his response to the allegations; through his longtime publicist David Brokaw, Cosby said he had no comment.
The stories these women tell paint a disturbing picture of one of the country’s most likeable comedians: a man many Americans know as Cliff Huxtable, America’s favorite dad on The Cosby Show (the No. 1 show on TV for five straight years), and a man who remains a crusader for education and personal responsibility (see box). In 2002 Cosby was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Although he admitted to an affair with Shawn Upshaw in 1997 (Upshaw’s daughter Autumn Jackson claimed Cosby was her father, which was never proven, and she then served time for extortion), he has been married since 1964 to Camille, 62. The Cosbys had five children; son Ennis was killed in an attempted robbery in 1997.
Some of those who know Bill Cosby well say the charges are hard to believe. “Bill is good-hearted, he really is,” says his longtime friend and former journalist Chuck Stone. “He and Camille are very close.” The women, however, say that by coming forward they have begun to lift their burdens and, they hope, prevented others from suffering the same fate. “This isn’t some vendetta against Bill Cosby,” says Beth Ferrier. “But he needs to get help, and he needs to stop taking advantage of women.”
• Reporting by VICKI BANE, NICOLE WEISENSEE EGAN, MARY GREEN, LORNA GRISBY, MAUREEN HARRINGTON, JEFF TRUESDELL and MICHELLE YORK
Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai