Comedian Cosby silent on sexual assault claims during NPR interview
WASHINGTON — Bill Cosby, in the midst of a serious PR crisis as accusations about him sexually assaulting women make headlines around the world, has decided to stay silent.
In an interview on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” that aired Saturday (in which Cosby and his wife talked about lending works to the National Museum of African Art), Cosby, 77, did not say a word when host Scott Simon asked him about the allegations.
In the past, the comedian has repeatedly denied these claims.
“This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days,” Simon said, without specifically saying what the allegations in question were.
There was a long a pause.
“You’re shaking your head no. I’m in the news business; I have to ask the question: Do you have any response to those charges?” Simon said.
Another long pause.
“Shaking your head no,” Simon continued, and said again: “There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this — I want to give you the chance.”
And again, no response.
Meanwhile, Cosby’s name quietly disappeared from the “Late Show With David Letterman” guest line-up for next week. Cosby was supposed to appear on the show Wednesday. Then, late this week, his visit was gone, replaced with talk show host Regis Philbin.
There’s no word on whether the cancellation was Cosby’s idea or the show’s. Letterman’s publicist told The Associated Press: “We can’t comment on the guest booking process.”
Although Cosby has been accused of sexual assault in the past by more than a dozen women — including in a civil lawsuit settled in 2004 — the story didn’t get much consistent mainstream attention until this fall, when during a stand-up routine, comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist.