Entertainment & Arts

Bill Cosby defends silence over sexual assault allegations

Bill Cosby Image copyright AP
Image caption Cosby was seated for some of his 90-minute show

US entertainer Bill Cosby has spoken out to defend his refusal to comment on allegations of sexual assault.

Speaking to Florida Today ahead of a one-man show, the 77-year-old said: "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos."

More than a dozen women have now have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them.

And accusations dating back to 2005 and 2006 have also recently resurfaced.

"People should fact-check," Cosby told Florida Today.

On Thursday, a woman from Florida came forward with allegations Cosby had drugged and raped her backstage at a show in Las Vegas in 1976.

Therese Serignese, from Boca Raton, said the star made her take some pills that made her feel groggy and then sexually assaulted her.

The 57-year-old's allegations are similar to those of other women, including former supermodel Janice Dickinson, who allege Cosby drugged them and then raped them over the past three decades.

Meanwhile, Cosby received a warm reception at his show in Melbourne, Florida, on Friday.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A woman protested against Cosby's show outside the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts

Some radio hosts had offered prizes to anyone who disrupted the show but just one protester stood outside the 2,000-seat theatre, holding a sign which read: "Rape is no joke."

Several of Cosby's planned performances have been called off, including those in Oklahoma, Nevada, Illinois, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington.

Cosby's lawyer, Martin Singer, said the accusations had "escalated far past the point of absurdity", dismissing them as "unsubstantiated", "fantastical" and "uncorroborated".

Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of the allegations.

NBC has shelved plans to revive Cosby's television career and repeats of his 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show were pulled from cable station TV Land earlier this week.

Netflix also decided not to broadcast a special about his work.

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