Sex abuse al­le­ga­tions mere in­nu­endo, Cosby says

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Co­me­dian Bill Cosby has spo­ken out against a wave of sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions, say­ing he does not have to “an­swer to in­nu­en­dos”.

Cosby, 77, spoke to the news­pa­per Florida To­day on Fri­day, be­fore per­form­ing his com­edy rou­tine at a the­atre in Mel­bourne, Florida.

The co­me­dian has re­fused to tackle ques­tions about al­le­ga­tions made by a num­ber of women who said he forced him­self on them sex­u­ally, with some ac­cus­ing him of drug­ging them first.

“I know peo­ple are tired of me not say­ing any­thing, but a guy doesn’t have to an­swer to in­nu­en­dos,” Cosby told Florida To­day.

“Peo­ple should fact-check. Peo­ple shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t an­swer to in­nu­en­dos,” he told the news­pa­per, in a story posted on its web­site on Fri­day.

Cosby re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion at the start of his 90minute show, which con­cluded with­out in­ci­dent and with­out the co­me­dian dis­cussing the al­le­ga­tions.

A host at Or­lando-based Real Ra­dio 104.1 had asked peo­ple at­tend­ing the show to ask Cosby about the al­le­ga­tions and film his re­sponse, and the sta­tion of­fered cash and prizes for the best footage. But no one in the au­di­ence con­fronted Cosby with a ques­tion.

The co­me­dian told Florida To­day that such of­fers to mem­bers of his au­di­ence risked cre­at­ing a “frat house men­tal­ity”.

“Now sup­pose some­one

Now sup­pose some­one brings a weapon

brings a weapon or de­cided to do more fool­ish­ness,” he said.

“There will be an­nounce­ments made and the sta­tions made some dis­claimers, but what if peo­ple don’t lis­ten to what they said and they en­tice vi­o­lence?”

The co­me­dian has never been charged and his lawyers have said the as­sault claims had been dis­cred­ited and were defam­a­tory.

Cosby’s Las Ve­gas per­for­mance this week and four other shows in Ari­zona, Illi­nois, South Carolina and Wash­ing­ton state next year have been can­celled.

With NBC and Net­flix also drop­ping projects with the co­me­dian last week, the al­le­ga­tions have threat­ened Cosby’s whole­some pub­lic im­age and fu­ture vi­a­bil­ity in show business.

On Thurs­day night, Cosby ap­peared in the Ba­hamas at a ben­e­fit for a women’s ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The co­me­dian is sched­uled to per­form at least 36 shows be­tween now and May. – Reuters and Sapa-AP

PIC­TURE: AP

AL­LEGED VIC­TIM: Therese Serig­nese, 57, claims co­me­dian and tele­vi­sion icon Bill Cosby raped her in 1976 when she was 19 years old fol­low­ing a show in Las Ve­gas.

PIC­TURE: AP

STAND­ING OVA­TION: Bill Cosby dur­ing a show in Florida on Fri­day.

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