Bill Cosby once said, “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” Within the past several months, Cosby’s words have been put to the test as he is facing some of the “worst blows” life can deliver.
Decade-old accusations of sexual assault have resurfaced, and now more than a dozen women have come forward saying that Bill Cosby drugged and raped or molested them, according to TIME Magazine. When dealing with accusations as serious as sexual assault, it makes it so hard to determine who is outright guilty without any proof. It would be terrible to find out that these girls were in fact telling the truth, but it would also be terrible to find out they were not and only seeking attention. The problem is that nobody has any proof, but so many girls have come forward. A good handful of the women are substantial figures as well such as Tamara Green who is an established lawyer and Therese Serignese who works as a nurse here in Florida, according to Business Insider. I don’t know who is to blame here, and I’d like to go by the rule of innocent until proven guilty. However, I can’t say that I believe Cosby is innocent in all of this even though I believe he should be privileged to the rule that every other American would be privileged to, and that is innocent until proven guilty.
Cosby has continued to deny the allegations against him, and has never been criminally charged for any of these accounts, according to TIME Magazine. Cosby was first accused back in March of 2005 when a woman named Andrea Constand came forward saying Cosby had drugged and molested her while she was at his Pennsylvania home back in 2004. Constand was the former director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team, according to TIME Magazine.
Not long after, a second woman named Tamara Green accused Cosby of giving her pills which knocked her unconscious and then groping her, according to TIME Magazine. After these two women, more than a dozen women came forward anonymously and made accusations as well. The lawsuit between Constand and Cosby was settled, but not in court and the terms of settlement were never disclosed, according to TIME Magazine.
These accusations came up again in February of 2014 when Gawker published an article summarizing the past accusations against Cosby. At this point, it doesn’t really matter if Cosby is even telling the truth or not; his reputation has been severely tainted, if not ruined by these women. I am not disagreeing with a woman’s right to come forward about sexual assault, but because so much time has gone by, in most cases nothing can be done legally for most of these women.
I just hope they are speaking only the truth. It’s hard to form a correct opinion these days when the media will put anyone on the air as long as they’re going to say something shocking. The media doesn’t care if there’s any truth to it. It seems that everyday, someone new is coming forward to say some nasty thing Cosby did to them over 10 years ago. Now 33 women have come forward, according to Entertainment Online. Somebody needs to bring a stop to this by finding proof and figuring out who is in the wrong here.
There is no question that these accusations have interfered with Cosby’s career. He was recently met with numerous protesters outside of a Denver theatre he was scheduled to perform. People were holding up signs saying things like, “if you support Cosby, you support rape,” and “rape is not joke,” according to The Huffington Post. However, hundreds of ticket-holders were said to have still shown up to the event and would later give Cosby a standing ovation.
In addition to the protests, lots of institutions and networks have cut their ties to Cosby. On Jan. 16, NBC made a statement saying that it would never work with Cosby again, according to The Huffington Post. I think these networks are being put into tough positions here and are having to make hard decisions, but I have to say I think they are making the right one. Having involvement with a celebrity who has been accused numerous times of sexual assault is something that could seriously hurt their reputation as a network and could potentially affect the amount of viewers that choose to tune in.
Two of Cosby’s TV family members have spoken out on his behalf. “We are really missing what is wrong here, which is, this is the United States of America. I know it’s changing, but it’s still the United States of America and there are tenets that we live by,” said Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on The Cosby Show, according to ABC News. “There is the Constitution of the United States, which ensures innocence until proof of guilt, and that has not happened. But what has happened is declaration in the media of guilt, without proof. And a legacy is being destroyed because of it. It’s being obliterated.”
As I stated above, I do agree with her. I think that every American being accused of something should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. There should be a burden of proof in any situation like this. His son on The Cosby Show, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, recently spoke out as well. “I can’t really speak on any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there,” he said, according to CNN. “The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people.”
One of the most recent accusations was made by model Chloe Goins who has met with police in order to pursue criminal charges against Cosby. She is saying that he allegedly drugged and sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. Goins would be the first woman whose sexual assault allegations against Cosby may fall within the statute of limitations, according to The Huffington Post. Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer, has already made a statement in response to the accusations saying that Cosby was not in Los Angeles at the time of the alleged assault, according to The Huffington Post. In my mind, Cosby will remain innocent until one of these women can bring forth proof.
Cosby is remaining positive about his career as a comedian and promises his fans that the show will go on, according to The Inqisitr. Before his performance in Denver he released a statement to his fans saying, “I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful,” he said according to The Inquisitr. “I’m ready! I thank you, the theatre staff, the event organizers and the Colorado Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment.” He finished it off with, “Hey, Hey, Hey — I am far from finished.”
It has been sad to watch the well known “father figure” that we have seen on The Cosby Show for years get torn down over the past few months because of the alleged accusations. My hope is that all of this will soon pass after an investigation is done so that a clear declaration of innocence or guilt on Cosby’s behalf can be decided.
Caitlin Malone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org