While numerous women initially accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them many years ago, the legendary American comedian largely left those allegations unanswered. However, he and his family have broken their silence since the accusations were made against him.
Cosby, 77, who talked to Stacy Brown of the New York Post from his home in Massachusetts Friday, did not address the numerous rape and sex abuse allegations, including the ones made by model and actress Beverly Johnson, supermodel Janice Dickinson and artist Barbara Bowman. However, he said that black media should be impartial.
"Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind," Cosby said.
Cosby added that he was advised by attorneys Martin Singer and John B. Schmitt not to talk to reporters about the ongoing allegations. The New York Post reported that more than two dozen women have publicly claimed that they suffered at the hands of the comedian.
Brown noted that Cosby had an upbeat tone on the phone, especially when he talked about his wife, Camille Cosby.
"Love and the strength of womanhood," Cosby said. "Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love."
Cosby later cut off the conversation with the New York Post, noting that his attorneys "don't want me talking to the media."
While Cosby has remained mostly silent, his wife Camille has stood by him, coming to his defense. According to Ginger Adams Otis of New York Daily News, Camille released a statement online that slammed the media for demonizing her partner of 50 years, comparing it to the recent controversy over a Rolling Stone article about an alleged fraternity house rape; the publishers of that article later issued an apology for numerous errors and inconsistencies in its reporting.
"The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work," Camille wrote. "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."
Camille accused the media of portraying her husband with the "portrait of a man I do not know."
"There appears to be no vetting of my husband's accusers before stories are published or aired," Camille wrote. "An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral."
Camille also wondered who ended up being the real victim in the midst of all the allegations surrounding her husband.
"None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim," Cosby's wife wrote. "But the question should be asked - who is the victim?"
Erik Wemple of The Washington Post thought that Camille made a bad analogy by referring to the Rolling Stone article. Although there are discrepancies in both situations, he pointed out the distinct differences.
"Whereas Bill Cosby's accusers are very public and insistent that their stories be told, the accuser in the Rolling Stone story, Jackie, professed concerns about the story coming out - concerns that should have led to the deletion of her episode from the story, 'A Rape on Campus,'" Wemple wrote. "Rolling Stone didn't disclose her last name."
Wemple added that the Rolling Stone story had no lawsuit underpinning it. On the other hand, Andrea Constand sued Cosby back in 2005 over an incident that supposedly happened at his house near Philadelphia; that case was later settled.
While Rolling Stone failed to reach out to the accused parties in the alleged fraternity house rape, Wemple noted that news organizations have tried to reach out to Cosby to get his side of the story.
"In an NPR interview last month, for instance, Cosby just shook his head 'no' as opposed to answering a question from Scott Simon," Wemple wrote. "In an AP interview, Cosby lobbied the reporter to 'scuttle' the part of the interview in which he stonewalled the rape question. Bill Cosby's reps have issued denials over the years."
Despite the questionable analogy made by Camille, Cosby's daughter, Evin Cosby, also stood up for her father. Evin, 38, released a statement to Access Hollywood.
"He is the FATHER you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today's TV reality show. Thank you. That's all I would like to say :)," Evin wrote.
Evin added in her statement that while "rape is a serious allegation," the false accusation of this vile action also makes it "hard for the men and women to find justice when they have been raped."
According to New York Daily News, the accusations against Bill Cosby date back as far as the 1960s.