Comedian Bill Cosby is a Rapist.
1. More than 13 Women have accused Bill Cosby of Rape.
2. Comedian Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby Rapist.
Hoax or Fact:
Mixture of hoax and facts.
These messages shared heavily online, also in news outlets, state that the popular comedian Bill Cosby is a rapist who has been accused of same by more than 13 women. Today, we will analyze how far these accusations can be facts.
Over the years, there have been more than a dozen women who came forward with rape allegations on American comedian Bill Cosby, most of them saying he fed them alcohol laced with drugs and assaulted them. But even then the popular comedian enjoyed a lengthy career, and was not criminally charged with rape (the legal definition of which varies by jurisdiction). However, in October 2014, after comedian Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist during a taped late night show that went viral, news of Cosby's past hit the mainstream media and derailed his planned career comeback. Cosby faced a number of disturbing sexual assault accusations again.
Some Past Accusations
On 2 March 2000, a 20-year-old actress Lachele Covington filed a police complaint accusing Bill Cosby of touching her inappropriately after a dinner at his house. The district attorney’s office, however, decided that no crime was committed.
In 2004, Andrea Constand, the director of the women’s basketball team at Temple University, the Cosby’s alma mater, accused him of drugging and molesting her at his home in Philadelphia. In March 2005, a civil lawsuit was filed by Constand that grew to include 13 other women with similar, rape allegations. These women who reportedly offered to testify in Constand's case included Barbara Bowman, Serignese and former model Beth Ferrier, who was in a consensual relationship with Cosby in the 1980s, but claimed he later, drugged and sexually assaulted her. On 27 January 2005, ABC News (abcnews.go.com) reported that the interaction between Andrea Constand and Bill Cosby (who cooperated with the investigation) — might have been consensual. In November 2006, Cosby settled Constand’s lawsuit out of court, with terms not disclosed, and the 13 other women were never called to testify.
In December 2006, People magazine published Barbara Bowman's account of several assaults. Bowman was a former teenage model, and another witness in Constand’s lawsuit. However, the same People article reported that three of the witnesses from the March 2005 civil case accepted cash from Bill Cosby for years, and that two others began consensual sexual relationships with him.
In November 2014, there were more women like Joan Tarshis and supermodel Janice Dickinson accusing Bill Cosby with similar claims. As of this writing, there have been at least 17 such drugging, raping and sexual assault allegations that can be seen in a timeline chart of Bill Cosby's significant personal and professional events.
All these consequences hit the comedian's work badly, TV Land pulled all Cosby Show reruns from its schedule, NBC scraped the sitcom it was developing with him, and multiple theaters cancelled his upcoming appearances.
Bill Cosby's Response
Bill Cosby's lawyer has been denying these sexual accusations all the years, and the comedian has been silent. On 12 December 2014, Bill Cosby broke his silence, albeit briefly, lecturing the "black media" to remain "neutral" and to say that his wife Camille Cosby stood by him all the years. He also said that the love and the strength of womanhood (his wife) held him up under the strain of the allegations.
Celebrity Status and Legal Limitations
Bill Cosby has been a famous comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist, popularly known for one of the most successful TV shows of the 1980s - The Cosby Show. Over the years, he has received many awards and honors, including Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to television. He always had a family-friendly comedic persona and even lectured black youths about proper behavior.
From the series of incidents over the years and the number of sexual allegations against him, it appears like; Bill Cosby might have sexually assaulted at least some women if not all of the women. Cosby's celebrity status and the limitations on cases of rape and sexual assault might have kept him away from being prosecuted fairly.
"If I ever spoke to him, I would say, 'Why don't you just tell the truth and get it over with,'" says an accuser Kristina Ruehli, who was a former secretary at his talent agency, adding, "I feel sorry for him, but he had this coming. These things catch up with you. He's been living a lie". A serious investigation into the allegations might reveal the complete truth about Bill Cosby's past.
Update: 04 Mar 2015
In early March 2015, a Jane Doe witness for the 2005 Constand’s lawsuit named Patricia came forward accusing Bill Cosby of rape. She detailed about her bad experience with Bill Cosby in an interview with BuzzFeed.com. Patricia said Bill Cosby proposed to be her mentor, and she accepted it because she initially thought he was paternal to her. But later, she said, she believes he drugged and sexually assaulted her twice. Patricia mentioned that Bill Cosby made bizarre demands of her, like asking her to lose weight and style her hair like Queen Noor of Jordan. Patricia also explained that she kept silent until now because she felt she was partially responsible for what happened to her.
A Timeline of the Abuse Charges Against Bill Cosby
The Bill Cosby sexual abuse claims – accusation by accusation
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?