Bill Cosby’s career crisis was in full force Friday, a night after the comic performed as a flurry of new developments in his ongoing sexual assault scandal took place.
Business As Usual
Cosby, 77, took the stage for an hour-and-a-half Thursday for a women's benefit at the Bahamas Atlantis resort in Nassau, though did not directly address the scandal. He received a standing ovation from the packed crowd, many of whom stood firmly in the comic’s corner through the his public struggle.
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College of the Bahamas official Alfred Sears, a one-time attorney general, told the AP that “everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty," and that “the court of law and the court of public opinion will deal with those issues." State investment minister Khaalis Rolle echoed similar sentiments, saying that “nothing has been proven” against the showbiz veteran, and that “you still have to account for the fact that they are just allegations.”
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A 57-year-old Boca Raton, Fla. nurse named Therese Serignese came forward Thursday, claiming that Cosby sexual assaulted her following a Las Vegas show in 1976 after drugging her with pills. Serignese said that Cosby handed her two pills and told her to “take these,” and that her “next memory was clearly feeling drugged, being without my clothes, standing up, while Bill Cosby was behind me, having sex with me." She told the Huff Post, "I wish he would quit lying and denying it," she said.
In addition to Serignese, The Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno’s wife Carla claimed to Mail Online about an alleged 1967 incident with the comic when she was visited Cosby’s house with a date. She claimed that at one point late in the evening, after her date used the restroom and Cosby’s wife Camille had went to sleep, the former Dr. Cliff Huxtable "came at me and grabbed me in such a powerful way … so hard and so rough.” Ferrigno claimed she was “frozen” and “stunned” when Cosby “kissed her so hard, right in the mouth,” pushing him away. “No one has ever been that physically violent with me,” Ferrigno alleged, adding that she’s making the public allegation in hopes of being “one more nail in the coffin” of the comic’s career.
No Laughing Matter
Tucson, Ariz.’s Diamond Desert Casino is the latest to cut ties with the embattled comic, announcing the cancellation of the comic’s planned show there Feb. 15. The casino did not give an official explanation for the move. Cosby has 36 more comedy shows scheduled through May, though it was unclear Friday how many other venues could potentially back out of their commitment in the wake of the scandal. Cosby is expected to take the stage at the King Center in Melbourne, Fla. on Friday. The venue posted the following statement, via Cosby’s rep, to its’ website: "Mr. Cosby is a well-respected member of the entertainment community and one of America's most beloved performers. While we are aware of the allegations reported in the press, we are only in a position to judge him based on his career as an entertainer and humanitarian. His sold-out show at the King Center for the Performing Arts this Friday, November 21 will go on as scheduled."
Sharpton: Scandal Not ‘Racially-Motivated’
The Rev. Al Sharpton Wednesday said he doesn’t think the scandal is “racially-motivated,” and called for the comic to publicly address the issue. Sharpton said that “needs to talk” and “has to answer to someone,” just hours before excerpts of an interview with the AP was released, showing the comic refusing to address the issue with a reporter, and requesting the footage be buried. Sharpton told the NY Post that while he would be happy to have Cosby on his MSNBC show, he’s admittedly “very disappointed with” the comedian, who he long looked up to.