Bill Cosby opts to stay silent over assault allegations

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 Comedian Bill Cosby, in the midst of a serious PR crisis as accusations about him sexually assaulting women make headlines around the world, has decided to stay silent.

In an interview on NPR's Weekend Edition that aired last Saturday, Cosby, 77, did not say a word when host Scott Simon asked him about the allegations, which picked up steam last Thursday when former actress Barbara Bowman wrote in The Washington Post that Cosby had drugged and raped her more than once in the 1980s when he was mentoring her as a young actress.

Cosby has been accused of sexual assault in the past by more than a dozen women - including in a civil lawsuit settled in 2004 - but the actor, known for playing family man Cliff Huxtable in the 1980s' The Bill Cosby Show, has repeatedly denied those claims.

"This question gives me no pleasure, Mr Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days," Simon said.

There was a long pause. "You're shaking your head no. I'm in the news business, I have to ask the question: Do you have any response to those charges?" Simon added.

Another long pause. "Shaking your head no," Simon continued, and said again: "There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this - I want to give you the chance."

And again, no response.

Cosby and his wife Camille were on NPR's Weekend Edition to promote an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art featuring artworks in their collection.

The interview came days after Cosby's name disappeared from the Late Show With David Letterman as a guest for Wednesday's show. Late last week, his name was replaced with talk show host Regis Philbin.

Considering the way the Cosby camp so blithely promoted a new Twitter game (the chance to "meme" Cosby by putting a clever caption under his picture), it is possible they had no idea how severe the image crisis had become. The "meme" game ended in disaster and was pulled in a matter of hours.

In her account titled "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?", Bowman wrote: "I have never received any money from Bill Cosby and have not asked for it. I have nothing to gain by continuing to speak out.

"He can no longer be charged for his crimes against me because the statute of limitations is long past. That is also wrong. There should be no time limits on reporting these crimes, and one of my goals is to call for legislation to that end."

 
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