The 411 on the Bill Cosby sexual assault saga

Bill Cosby and poster outside court case
Bill Cosby and poster outside court case Picture: AFP
77-year-old actor, Bill Cosby, has gone from megastar to accused rapist over a torrent of allegations of sexual misconduct. The allegations spanning four decades from dozens of women.

77-year-old actor, Bill Cosby, has gone from megastar to accused rapist. This after a torrent of allegations of sexual misconduct spanning four decades from dozens of women.

If you have been wondering what the story is, let us break it down for you:

Cosby was known as a beloved actor and philanthropist who played a family doctor in popular Television series, The Cosby Show.

His humour, background in comedy and evident love for children is the image fans of Cosby currently battle to see differently.

Cosby has been accused of raping at least 13 women in assaults that took place as far back as the 1970s.

Popular accusations that have become public knowledge…

March 2, 2000

Lachele Covington

According to the NY Post, actress, Lachele Covington, who was 20 years of age at the time, is one of the first women known to have filed a police report against Cosby for sexual misconduct. The young lady claimed that the comedian took her hand, placed it under his T-shirt and guided it toward his sweatpants. Cosby was not charged or questioned, this was apparently because she had said she pulled away and told Cosby she was leaving, to which he responded, “that’s fine”.

January 13, 2005

Andrea Constad

Basketball player, Andrea Constad, was the next complainant. Constad alleged she paid Cosby a visit at his home in January 2004. According to NBC News, Constad claimed Cosby had given her pills which he said were “herbal medication”. The Smoking Gun then reported that the basketball player claimed that after she took the pills, Cosby “laid her down on a sofa and proceeded to sexually assault her. She awoke hours later to discover her clothes and undergarments in disarray,” and found the comedian now wearing a bathrobe. Constand filed a lawsuit against Cosby in November, 2006. Constad had thirteen Jane Doe witnesses, twelve of which remained anonymous in the court papers. The case was settled out of court that November.

Last year

Janice Dickinson

The well known public accusation is one made by iconic supermodel, Janice Dickinson, on nighttime show Entertainment Tonight.

“He gave me wine and a pill. The next morning I woke up, and I wasn’t wearing my pyjamas, and I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she said.

This year…

A lawsuit by a woman who claims Bill Cosby molested her when she was 15 years old has moved allegations of sexual misconduct against the comedian from the court of public opinion into the courthouse.

Judy Huth’s lawsuit filed Tuesday,  in Los Angeles, accuses Cosby of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974. She is the latest woman to accuse the comedian of sex abuse, and is the first one since 2005 to file a lawsuit, which has paved the way for the many more accusations of sexual misconduct toward the comedian.

So far…

37 accusers have been reported.

Cosby admitted to drugging a woman before having sex with her

In a recently unsealed 2005 deposition, Cosby admits to drugging one woman and having sexual intercourse with her. Bill Cosby‘s admission that he used sedatives to lure at least one woman into having sex with him heaped more shame on the disgraced US comedian.

Cosby admitted to have obtained several prescriptions for Quaaludes and giving them to other people.

But he avoided questions about who he gave drugs to and when, and whether he gave women drugs without their knowledge.

Lawyer Dolores Troiani asked him: “When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”

“Yes,” replied Cosby, although later he said he had misunderstood the question. “Woman, meaning T….., and not women,” he said.

He said he had met the woman in Las Vegas. “She meets me back stage. I give her Quaaludes,” he said. “We then have sex.”

This though, is to hold very little water in court.

Admission to hold little water in court

Celebrity lawyer, Gloria Allred, who represents numerous Cosby accusers, said she was “very hopeful” about using the admission in the case of Judy Huth, who filed a civil suit accusing the fallen star of sexual assault when she was 15 years old.

In December 2014, prosecutors declined to charge Cosby over Huth’s claims, because the case was beyond the statute of limitations.

“This confirms the allegations of numerous victims who have said that he has used drugs in order to sexually assault them,” Allred said in a statement sent to AFP.

“This admission is one that Mr. Cosby has attempted to hide from the public for many years and we are very gratified that it is now being made public,” she added.

Washington DC-based lawyer Joseph Cammarata, who has filed a defamation lawsuit against Cosby, also said the admission would benefit his clients if the court agrees to take on the case.

In June, one of Cosby‘s lawyers, George Gowen, said that making the deposition public would be seriously embarrassing and could prejudice a separate case in Massachusetts.

Experts agree Cosby faces no prospect of criminal liability because the statutes of limitations have expired.

“My best guess is other than bad publicity and detrimental impact on his legacy I don’t think he’s going to suffer any legal injury,” New York Law School professor Frank Bress told AFP.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott, who publicly supported the star, turned her back on Cosby saying that Monday’s revelations left her “completely disgusted”.

“Sadly his own testimony offers PROOF of terrible deeds,” she wrote on Twitter. “I stood by a man I respected and loved. I was wrong.”

District Judge, Eduardo Robreno said he released the deposition because of “the stark contrast” between Cosby, “the public moralist” and Cosby, “the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct”.

Cosby’s defence

Since November, various women have spoken to media claiming Cosby drugged and sexually abused them dating as far back as the 1960s and 1970s.

He has always denied the allegations. His wife Camille Cosby also stands by his side, she supports him in a statement saying, “The man I met, and fell in love with, whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work.”

Cosby’s lawyer released a statement saying: “The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true.”

Another attorney for Cosby, Martin D. Singer, added in late November,

“The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.”

Cosby’s good reputation life crumbling

According to ABC News, the entertainer was forced to resign from the board of Temple University, his alma mater, last December, as sexual abuse allegations against him mounted.

He has also cancelled several comedy engagements and a Cosby television special that was planned for late last year was scuttled. CNN also reports that Disney has removed a Bill Cosby statue from its Florida theme park, and a sexual assault survivor organisation is petitioning the White House to revoke a Presidential Medal of Freedom the comedian received in 2002. A few facebook pages have been opened in support of the alleged victims and a similar Twitter campaign has been spotted with the hashtag #BelieveCosbySurvivors.

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Additional reporting by AFP

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