Bill Cosby’s wife comes to defence of ‘wonderful husband’

Camille Cosby rejects abuse claims relating to 15 women dating back to 1960s

Camille Cosby (l) has defended her husband, saying the man who is accused of sexual abuse by 15 women is “a man I do not know”. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/ Reuters.

Camille Cosby (l) has defended her husband, saying the man who is accused of sexual abuse by 15 women is “a man I do not know”. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/ Reuters.

 

Bill Cosby’s wife has rejected sex assault claims against her husband, saying the veteran entertainer being accused of drugging and having sex with 15 women is “a man I do not know”.

In a statement, Camille Cosby dismissed accusations that date back as far as the late 1960s and suggested that her husband, not the women, was the party being harmed.

“None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim,” she said. “But the question should be asked — who is the victim?”

Mr Cosby, 77, is being sued for defamation by one alleged victim and for sexual battery by another who says he forced her to perform a sex act when she was 15. He has never been charged in connection with any of the accusations, and his lawyers deny many of them.

He settled with a Pennsylvania woman in a 2005 lawsuit in which she said Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004.

A new round of claims of sexual assault and rape began in early November, accusations Mrs Cosby said had not been properly vetted by the media.

She likened the media’s handling of the accusations to a Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia that later proved to be untrue, saying her husband’s accusers had been “given a pass” by the press.

“The [Rolling Stone] story was heartbreaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband — until that story unwound,” she said.

Noting that she married Cosby in 1964, a year after they met, she said: “The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.”

The statement, released by Cosby spokesman David Brokaw, is the first public comment from Mrs Cosby since the renewed allegations began.

Since then, the comedian’s tour has been whittled by cancellations and indefinite postponements of about 10 concerts in many states reaching into next spring.

A comedy special was canceled by Netflix and NBC scuttled his new sitcom that had been in the works.

On Monday, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, an historically black institution, announced it was suspending its endowed professorship with Mr Cosby.

Mrs Cosby’s defence of her husband came after the publication of a brief interview with Mr Cosby in The New York Post, where he maintained his silence regarding the allegations while praising his wife for “love and the strength of womanhood” for weathering the public scrutiny raging against him.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Judy Huth, who claims Mr Cosby sexually abused her when she was 15, said he has interviewed two witnesses who corroborate her story.

In a recent court filing, Marc Strecker also said he reviewed photographs of Ms Huth with Mr Cosby at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s, around the time she says the abuse took place.

Mr Cosby’s lawyer Martin Singer is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, calling it an extortion attempt.

AP