Shock­ing Cosby

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

HENdis­graced for­mer PR guru Max Clif­ford was ex­posed as a sex of­fender, it was a scan­dal. But he had come across as an ag­gres­sive, un­like­able fig­ure any­way – a man who might rep­re­sent any other scoundrel for the right sum of money – and so there wasn’t huge sur­prise when the truth about him emerged.

There are other ex­am­ples of sex crim­i­nals out of the world of celebrity, one of the most prom­i­nent be­ing film di­rec­tor Ro­man Polan­ski, who has of course con­tin­ued to fight his 1970s charges of five sex of­fences against a 13-year-old girl. But Polan­ski, like Clif­ford, is a man who could eas­ily oc­cupy a darker realm. Even his movie sub­jects have of­ten tack­led un­com­fort­able, fringe top­ics.

It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent af­fair with Bill Cosby, the man the world surely ac­cepts as its most fa­mous TV dad. Any­one who watched his cult show – which was popular here dur­ing apartheid, Cosby be­ing able to ex­ceed even those cul­tural re­stric­tions – re­mem­bers his great hu­mour in the face of parental ad­ver­sity.

And so news that sex of­fences al­le­ga­tions out of his past may fi­nally be com­ing back to ex­tract jus­tice, shocks us far more than most oth­ers.

If kind, funny, hu­man Bill Cosby could com­mit such crimes, who else is ca­pa­ble?

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