After weeks of silence following renewed rape allegations, Bill Cosby’s lawyers have released a statement:
“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. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”
The statement comes nearly five weeks after the allegations resurfaced, incited by comedian Hannibal Buress after Buress called Cosby a rapist during a stand-up routine.
“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,'” Buress said in his October 16 Philadelphia show. “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”
On November 10, perhaps hoping to repair his tarnished image, Cosby tweeted out a Cosby Show-era photo of himself, asking the Twitterverse to “meme” the photo. The response was largely negative, with many focusing on the rape allegations. One tweet shows a photo of a headphone-wearing Cosby with overlaying text that says, “Now I can’t hear you say ‘No.'”
Shortly after the social media backfire, alleged victim Barbara Bowman came forward, penning a column for The Washington Post titled “Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?” Since then, Cosby has canceled two television appearances, and when asked about the allegations last weekend on NPR, the comedian remained silent.
Despite “mounting pressure,” production is still underway for Cosby’s NBC sitcom, scheduled to premiere sometime in 2015.