Last month, Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist during his standup act in Philadelphia. Cosby has never been convicted of a sex crime but this isn’t the first time he has been accused of rape.
Burress, who is also a black comedian, was making the point that he doesn’t value Cosby’s outspoken opinions about African-American conduct because Cosby is (allegedly) a rapist.
“Bill Cosby has the f—ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate, ” Burress stated at his October 16 show. “He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches… If you didn’t know about it trust me. When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That shit has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress.”
Buress’ remarks touched off a firestorm and today on Big Morning Buzz Live, a conversation about the actor’s alleged behavior put things in perspective.
Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville sat with Michelle Buteau and detailed the timeline of Cosby’s accusations. Norville also described why the allegations have gotten so much attention this time around, as opposed to decades ago.
Cosby has stayed quiet about the claims, but released a statement through his lawyer. The statement denies the accusations from various women, but Cosby’s attorney issued a clarification that excluded a woman involved in a 2006 legal settlement.
Fans are shocked such a beloved figure is at the heart of this firestorm, but is there any truth to the claims? Read the next page for a timeline of allegations against Cosby.
January 2004: Andrea Constand, a Temple University sports director, accused Cosby of sexual assault. Constand claimed she went to Cosby’s home to discuss her career and was given pills by the actor, which he said was “herbal medication.” Constand recalls being in a foggy mental state, but says Cosby fondled her. According to court documents, she then blacked out and woke up hours later, believing Cosby had sex with her without her consent.
February 2005: California lawyer Tamara Green alleged Cosby raped her in the 1970s. Green went on the Today show in 2005, claiming the comedian gave her pills for a headache. Green vaguely remembered him undressing her and fondling her without consent. Cosby’s lawyer denied the claims.
March 2005: Bill Cosby defended himself against Constand’s accusations in the National Enquirer. It’s one of the few times he addressed sexual misconduct allegations.
June 2006: Philadelphia magazine detailed Constand’s claims. Without enough evidence to bring criminal charges, Constand filed a civil suit since first accusing Cosby in 2004. Barbara Bowman, another Cosby accuser who first told her agent about assault incidents in the 1980s, was interviewed for the piece.
November 2006: Constand and Cosby settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
October 2014: Comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a hypocrite during a Philadelphia performance. Buress claimed Cosby “rape[s] women” and has no business criticizing young black men.
November 13, 2014: Bowman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. Bowman’s damning account includes being drugged and attacked by Cosby in a hotel room as a teenager in 1985.
November 15, 2014: After Bowman’s op-ed, Cosby and his wife appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition to discuss his African art collection. Host Scott Simon asked Cosby about the allegations, but the comedian stayed silent. Media outlets also reported Cosby cancelled a scheduled appearance on David Letterman’s late night show.
November 16, 2014: Cosby’s lawyer issued a statement on the accusations, saying they had been previously “discredited.”
November 17, 2014: Hollywood publicist Joan Tarshis went on CNN and alleged Cosby drugged and attacked her in 1969.
November 18, 2014: Audio from a 1969 Cosby live album surfaces, with him joking about Philadelphia guys drugging girls, presumably for sex. The Tarshis incident allegedly happened the same year the album was released.
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