I have finally had enough of the smarmy sexual revelations swirling around Bill Cosby.
It’s more than the latest reports that Cosby’s pit-bull private detectives are digging up dirt on women who have accused him of sexual assault. It’s what this whole sordid mess says about us: we, the fawning fans, who have ignored for years the growing number of females who claimed they were drugged and raped by the comedian.
It was easier to cling to the idea that Cosby was just like his charming Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable character than it was to accept that he might be a sexual predator.
I’m increasingly embarrassed for his wife, Camille, who recently issued a cringe-worthy public statement professing her undying love and insinuating that Bill Cosby, 77, is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy involving the media and nearly 30 women who now claim they were sexually violated by her famous husband.
I feel compelled to write this open letter.
Dear Mrs. Cosby,
Let’s look at reality, my dear. As you approach your 51st wedding anniversary, I suggest you drop the defend-at-all-costs attitude and count the ways your man has let you down.
The publicly admitted extra-marital activity, the admission that besides the five children he had with you he may very well have had a daughter with a mistress in the early 1970s. Your husband sent weekly $750 checks to the woman for years. She now joins a chorus alleging the same modus operandi: After being invited by a celebrity to a private meeting, her drink was spiked, she passed out, and upon awakening realized she had been raped. Like the others, she didn’t report it because she was convinced no one would ever believe her.
This husband of yours, I’m sad to say, has heaped shame on your doorstep.
Didn’t you wonder when the first lawsuit was filed in 2005? It wasn’t just one woman’s allegations. Thirteen other women signed on to testify against your husband. Weren’t you suspicious when the case was settled out of court? Did you ever wonder what those 13 other women might have said, under oath, from the witness box?
You married the “love of your life” in January 1964. The earliest allegation goes back to 1967 — a woman who says she was just 15 when Cosby grabbed her at a party and forcibly kissed her. He would have been 30 then and riding high after several top-selling comedy albums and starring in the acclaimed TV adventure series I Spy.
In 1971, an actress says your husband forced her to perform a sex act on him in a Tonight Show green room; a nurse says that in 1976 Cosby drugged and raped her. In the mid-’80s, another woman claims that after having coffee with the man who would be dubbed “America’s favorite Dad” she groggily awoke in a car, her bra undone, her blouse untucked, wondering what in the world had happened.
The list goes on and on with shockingly similar tales. The latest allegation stems from an alleged incident in 2008 — two years after your husband reached that out-of-court settlement. Is everyone lying?
Do you see a pattern here, Mrs. Cosby? Or do you buy the idea espoused by your husband’s legal team that it is all, “utter nonsense” and a “media-driven feeding frenzy?” And what about the impression your husband left when he told Stacy Brown, an African-American reporter, “I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism … go in with a neutral mind.”
Do you believe your husband’s troubles are because of racist white journalists?
Please don’t tell me, Mrs. Cosby, that you actually buy the idea that all these women are after your husband’s money. Only a couple of them filed lawsuits since the one in 2005 was settled. One who said she was raped when she was 15 after your husband snuck her into the Playboy Mansion. Another accuser filed a defamation claim only after your husband’s attack-dog attorney called her a liar. I’d call that a self-inflicted problem.
You may think this is all a big mistake that can be rectified by attacking the accusers, but cancellations of Cosby performances by networks, theaters, universities and withdrawn honors from the U.S. Navy tell another story. The word “rapist” scrawled across your husband’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame gives you a stark glimpse at the public’s opinion.
Mrs. Cosby, tell your husband to come clean with you. And call off the lawyers and detectives. Otherwise, you might find yourselves in a very public courtroom.
— Diane Dimond is the author of Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter: @DiDimond, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.