NBC cans Cosby show, third woman accuses him of sexual assault

US comic Bill Cosby. (Reuters)

US comic Bill Cosby. (Reuters)

NBC says it has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development, the second outlet within a day to put off or abandon a Cosby project as another sexual assault allegation against the comic has emerged. 

NBC spokesperson Rebecca Marks said on Wednesday the project “is no longer under development,” and had no further comment. The announcement came after Netflix announced late on Tuesday that it was postponing the November 27 premiere of a new Cosby standup comedy special. 

Actress Janice Dickinson became the third woman in recent weeks to allege she’d been assaulted by Cosby when she told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday that she was sexually assaulted by the comic in 1982. Cosby’s lawyer said Dickinson’s charges are “false and outlandish.”

Earlier in the week, 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, former publicist Joan Tarshis 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. – Sapa-AP, AFP

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