Bill Cosby, one of Temple University’s best known alums and a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, has come under fire as old accusations of sexual assault are being brought up again by alleged victims in print and in broadcasts.
Cosby has refused to comment in recent days when asked about the allegations, but his lawyers released a statement saying, in part, “Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact they they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”
The latest woman to accuse Cosby is model Janice Dickenson.
The earliest accusations reach back to the late 1960’s. In 2006 a civil lawsuit was filed against Cosby, by a former Temple employee, Andrea Constand. Thirteen women were reportedly ready to also testify in the case, but Cosby settled with Constand, and he has never been charged with a crime.
One of his recent accusers is Joan Tarshis, a journalist and publicist who said she woke up after having a drink to find Cosby assaulting her. Tarshis told CNN, “I didn’t know his history. I assumed I was not the only girl that he was doing this with, but who’s going to believe me? Bill Cosby, the All-American dad, the All–American husband, the first Mr. Jello that everybody loves – who would believe me? They’d probably think that I was out to get something.”
Some Temple Students told Temple Update they’re disappointed to hear about the accusations against Cosby. Sophomore Patricia Thomas says, “For African-Americans, he’s really an important black, male actor who means a lot to us. I was really disappointed to hear an alleged sexual abuse or rape, because you can never really disregard one of those as false.” Freshman Amanda Chavis says, “I’m pretty sure he’s still going to get the same type of praise. Like, we have a celebrity that is an alumni of our school, but it’s definitely going to make students look at him at little different.”
Bill Cosby is a frequent visitor to Temple’s campus and a speaker at nearly every May commencement ceremony. Temple Update contacted Temple officials to see if the accusations might affect Cosby’s role here at Temple, but a University spokesperson declined to comment.
While his role at Temple may not be directly affected, upcoming work that Cosby was set to do with NBC has been cancelled, and Netflix has postponed his comedy special, “Bill Cosby 77” indefinitely. and TV Land has pulled “The Cosby Show” reruns from its programming.
For more information on how the accusations have affected Cosby, read here.