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The legacy and career of Bill Cosby: From affable TV dad to accused rapist - again

The original cast of The Cosby Show.
The original cast of The Cosby Show.
Frank Carroll/Associated Press

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Actor and comedian Bill Cosby once again is denying sexual assault accusations against him - triggered by a young comedian's stand up act that went viral online last month. In recent days, Cosby's lawyer issued two statements - the first was a blanket denial of "decade-old, discredited allegations." The second statement clarified that the denial did not refer to a 2004 civil suit settled between Cosby and Andrea Constand who had accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 2004.

When comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist, the story caught fire online in a way earlier allegations could not. Despite the fact that more than a dozen women leveled accusations against Cosby as part of the 2004 suit, many fans were unfamiliar with the stories. Now, one of his accusers has come forward again. Writing in the Washington Post, actress Barbara Bowman asks "Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"

Meanwhile, Cosby's career was enjoying a resurgence - an NBC sitcom in the works and a Netflix stand up special. Will it all be scuttled?


Cynthia Littleton, Television Editor, Variety