As a long time friend to Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner has come out to say he is saddened by the allegations against the famed comedian. Hefner’s comment comes at a time when the legendary comedian is being accused by several women of sexual assault, one of which claims Cosby attacked her at Hefner’s own Playboy Mansion.
The latest accuser, Judith Huth, has the legendary comedian tangled in a lawsuit saying she was abused at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was only 15. Cosby continues to deny all allegations and his lawyers have made a statement indicating that Huth was trying to extort money from him in recent months.
Hefner did comment on the incident, saying that Cosby asked the girl to pretend she was 19. He also went on to say that “he would never tolerate this kind of behavior regardless of who was involved.”
Another woman has also come forward alleging that the comedian assaulted her. PJ Masten believes she was raped by Cosby in 1979, after she woke in bed naked and bruised. Masten also claimed to have worked at a number of the Playboy clubs, which is how she met the comedian. After the incident, she alleges that he told her not to report it because he was “best friends” with Hefner.
In recent months, Cosby has come under fire for allegedly sexually assaulting, abusing or raping nearly 20 women. He has remained silent and his lawyers have denied all accusations, including the most recent allegation that has prompted a lawsuit.
Cosby has fostered and maintained a successful career spanning over four decades. He has gone from stand-up comedian to sitcom star to children’s programming producer. He has also been active on a community level, advocating for education to be a better road to the future.
Unfortunately, his relationships with Temple University and UMASS-Amherst have been severed amid the firestorm of allegations against the famed comedian. Additionally, many people have found his alleged actions saddening and deplorable, especially long time friend, Hugh Hefner.
The comedian is at the center of several allegations. They have also greatly affected his professional career. Speaking engagements have been cancelled and refunds have been given for some of the performer’s scheduled appearances. NBC and Netflix have both postponed the comedian’s projects, and TV Land pulled all reruns of The Cosby Show.
Although there are many who believe the allegations against the former sitcom star are true, there are still a few supporters out there. Last week he “broke his silence” on Twitter when he thanked friends Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott for their continued support.
Goldberg defended Cosby on The View saying she was skeptical of the women and questioned why they would wait so long to report the alleged crimes. She also commented that she will reserve her judgement until definitive proof comes to light. Scott defended him on Twitter, with a similar message as Goldberg saying she needs substantiated proof before she can make her decision about the allegations against him.
Hugh Hefner, however, decided to side with Cosby’s accusers, and made a statement in light of recent allegations involving his $54 million estate. Despite the lack of judgement, Cosby still has friends who are saddened by the allegations against him.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by The World Affairs Council of Pennsylvania – Flickr License