Bill Cosby remains quiet and refuses to speak about sexual assault claims even as his supporters wonder why he is not answering direct questions about what has become a very difficult situation for him. He was questioned in a televised interview and just shook his head each time the interviewer broached the subject, to indicate he had no intention of answering any questions about the allegations.
The celebrated entertainer became the focus of attention for this murky period in his life when another comedian, Hannibal Burress, repeated the sexual allegations in an online post and in a stand-up routine that garnered national publicity. Harsh condemnation of the well-known comic continues in light of the fact that he is recognized for being a wise fatherly figure, who asks other African-Americans to be personally responsible for their own actions.
The outcry that surrounds him originated with claims raised by Andrea Constandin in 2005. Constandin, at that time was on the staff with the Temple University basketball team, a school where Cosby once attended college. Constandin claimed Cosby had drugged and molested her. The Montgomery County district attorney, Bruce L. Castor Jr., said during an interview Wednesday that he felt there was not sufficient evidence to file a criminal case then, even though he had a gut feeling that Cosby was indeed guilty of some inappropriate conduct. The Constandin case was settled without a trial by way of an out of court settlement for an undisclosed amount.
Even as Cosby is quietly ignoring the latest claims about sexual assault, Janice Dickinson, model and television host, was only one of the latest in a growing line of alleged victims to come forward regarding sexual assault accusations against him. In a nationally televised interview on Entertainment Tonight, Dickinson claimed she was sexually assaulted by Cosby in his hotel room after a 1982 show in Lake Tahoe. She added that the incident was part of her 2002 biography, but was deleted from the book after she was coerced by Cosby and his lawyers as well as her own publisher. The besieged comedian remained silent after Dickinson’s interview, but one of his lawyers was very vocal, saying that she had fabricated the incident and was a liar.
Mark Whitaker, who wrote a Cosby biography who added to the debate because the sexual assault charges were not discussed in the book, said that his revived career had plunged him back into the national limelight once more. He stated further that the comedian had not been hiding, he was traveling giving 60 concerts per year. As far as visibility is concerned he was undertaking some of the things he had not done in some time.
Cosby still remains quiet on the sexual assault claims, despite facing further negative fallout, such as an appearance cancellation on the Late Show With David Letterman, a postponed appearance on the Queen Latifah Show as well as cancellation of NBC and Netflix projects. Cosby is a long time survivor in the entertainment field, but at this point for a man who makes his living by speaking, his silence may seem deafening in the court of public opinion.
By Gerald Sowell