Bill Cosby was greeted warmly and received a standing ovation during the first of three Canadian concerts he has scheduled for this week, which were also his first live performances since November. At the same time he was playing to a half-full house and protesters marched outside the venue, three new women came forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who is organizing a civil suit against Cosby since the statute of limitations has expired on his crimes, introduced the three women at a press conference timed to coincide with the Canadian shows. One woman, identified only as Kacey, had a working relationship with Cosby from 1990 to 1996, and said the comedian drugged her with a “large white pill” during a meeting at the Bel Air Hotel. When she came to, she was in bed with a naked Cosby.
Another woman, Linda Kirkpatrick, says Cosby drugged a drink he gave her backstage before a comedy show in 1981. She blacked out, missed the show, and came to alone with Cosby in his dressing room after, where he was kissing her “forcefully.”
The third woman, Lynn Neal, was fed drinks by Cosby in the early 80s, and claims he stopped her each time she tried to eat something to counter the effects of the alcohol. When she had trouble standing, Cosby took her back to his dressing room, removed her pants, and raped her.
The three women bring the total number of Cosby accusers to thirty.
Meanwhile, Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s on-screen wife Clair in The Cosby Show and came to his defense earlier in the week, later clarified her remarks, saying she felt she’d been “misquoted.”
Rashad’s initial quote suggested a conspiracy was at work against Cosby, and sounded dismissive of the women who’ve come forward to accuse him: “Forget these women,” she said. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
But later, when interviewed by Linsey Davis of ABC, Rashad changed her mind: “That is a misquote, and that is not what I said. What I said is this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy….I am a woman. I would never say such a thing [dismissing other women]…. What has happened is declaration in the media of guilt without proof.”
Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, who conducted the interview with Rashad, published a clarification of his own, following Rashad’s second round of remarks:
Let me clear something. I did not misquote Phylicia Rashad. But she didn’t mean for it to be taken the way it was, and I should have punctuated. There was NEVER the meaning in ‘Forget those women’ that she was saying to actually forget or dismiss then. She meant, ‘those women aside’– as in, she’s not talking about that, she’s talking about Cosby’s legacy being destroyed. It was conversational. Somehow this got twisted. I am really sorry if the way I presented it made it seem like either one of us was forgetting anyone. I’ve been at a hospice on and off for 10 says with a family friend of 40 years. So really, let’s all calm down. What Phylicia was doing was defending her friend and his legacy. That’s what she said, that’s what I wrote, I’m sorry if it caused her grief. And no one asked me to write this. I’m just saying it because I like and respect her.
(Photo credits: WENN)