Bill Cosby stand-up special postponed amid rape scandal

A planned Bill Cosby special on Netflix has been postponed, the video streaming service said late on Tuesday, amid mounting claims the respected United States entertainer assaulted a string of women over the years.

“At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special Bill Cosby 77,” Netflix said in a statement. 

People magazine said the Netflix special was supposed to be a birthday celebration for Cosby, in which he would share stories from his childhood, first romantic relationships and parenthood. 

But allegations of rape and sexual abuse made against him by several women in recent weeks are tarnishing the public image of the urbane actor, famous for his long TV career, especially his role in the self-titled Cosby Show in the 1980s and 1990s.

Cosby’s silent shake of the head on Saturday when asked if he wanted to address the allegations during an interview on US National Public Radio only intensified the attention focused on him.

In one of the most recent charges to be made public, a woman claimed in an editorial on Sunday that she was drugged and raped by him in 1969. 

In a statement on the veteran comedian’s website, lawyer John Schmitt said Cosby would make no comment on the wave of claims against him.

Cosby has been at the centre of a storm since comedian Hannibal Buress branded him a “rapist” during a stand-up show in Philadelphia last month.

A scheduled appearance by Cosby on The Late Show with David Letterman was cancelled as the entertainer faced a barrage of accusations.

The Washington Post newspaper last week published a detailed account by actress Barbara Bowman of alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of Cosby when she was a starry-eyed teenager in 1985.

A total of 13 women who made similar accusations against Cosby have also offered to testify against him, according to US reports. – AFP

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