For nearly the past 40 years, Bill Cosby has managed to evade allegations of sexual abuse from numerous women. However, over recent weeks, the accusations against him have been given a spotlight once again.
Renewed interest in the old claims stem from comedian Hannibal Buress, who recently mentioned the former Mr. Huxtable’s rape rep in a standup routine. From there, the sexual assault floodgates opened and more information regarding past allegations have leaked out.
While Cosby has yet to comment on the accusations, here are five things we do know from the victims and various news reports that’ve glommed on to the story.
1. Hannibal Buress, the comedian somewhat responsible for shedding new light on the allegations, was only a year old when The Cosby Show debuted on TV.
In an October standup show in Philadelphia, Buress went on a somewhat NSFW comedic tirade about how society has glossed over the very serious—and perhaps criminal—allegations made against Cosby, saying of the 13 victims:
“Thirteen? And it’s even worse because Bill Cosby has the f****ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. 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 raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches. I don’t curse on stage. Well, yeah, you’re a rapist, so, I’ll take you sayin’ lots of motherf****ers on Bill Cosby: Himself if you weren’t a rapist. …I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch ‘Cosby Show’ reruns. …I’ve done this bit on stage, and people don’t believe. People think I’m making it up. …That shit is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it, trust me. You leave here and Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That shit has more results than Hannibal Buress.”
2. Many of the victims say Cosby drugged them, either with pills or by possibly slipping something into their drinks.
At least two of the victims have said Cosby allegedly drugged them during their time together. One victim said he gave her “herbal medication that would help her relax,” while another said she passed out shortly after drinking a “Red Eye.” The victims would then pass out and just as they were just “coming to”, Cosby was sexually assaulting them.
The creepiest part of the above scenarios is that Cosby has a joke about drugging women that he used to perform in his hold comedy routine.
3. Thirteen women have come out with allegations of sexual abuse since 2004.
The list of women who’ve accused the famed comedian includes a director of operations at Temple University, a California lawyer, a journalist and a former actress. As of now, the remaining victims are unnamed Jane Does.
Update: As of November 18, two more alleged victims have identified themselves. A woman named Linda Joy Traitz made a statement on Facebook and supermodel, Janice Dickinson, shared her story on Entertainment Tonight.
4. One victim, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Cosby twice, called him a“serial rapist” on CNN.
In a CNN interview with Joan Tarshis, a former journalist/publicist who claims Cosby sexually abused her in 1969 when she was only 19, said she never told anyone about the assault because she didn’t think people would believe her. However, now that more women are coming forward, she isn’t afraid to tell her story.
5. Cosby has never been charged and has always denied the allegations.
While whispers of sexual assault have been swirling around Hollywood for nearly 45 years, Cosby and his camp have always denied the rumors. In a recent statementfrom the comedian’s lawyer, John P. Schmitt, representatives said:
“Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”
However, is Cosby’s silence speaking louder than words and making the whole situation worse? Looks like we’ll have to stay tuned and see how investigators choose to handle each of these allegations and whether or not the funnyman will ever be charged with a crime—or 13.