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Bill Cosby on rape claims: 'Black media should be neutral'


BILL COSBY has broken his silence amid damning rape claims to ask black media to 'remain neutral' throughout the process.

"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," he told the New York Post's Page Six.

The Cosby Show patriarch, 77, faces accusations of rape and assault from more than a dozen women, many of them young, aspiring actresses at the time.

It is the first time the comedian has broken his silence since telling Florida Today back in November that "people should fact check," before believing the claims levied against him.

Though sexual assault allegations have dogged Cosby throughout his career, and he has never been convicted, women began slowly emerging from the shadows after comedian Hannibal Buress brought the claims to the fore during a set in October.

“Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches," Buress said.

A video of Burress' set soon went viral and Cosby's alleged victims stories – chilling in similarity – claimed the veteran comedian had drugged and raped them at the height of his fame 30 years ago after promises of helping them further their careers on screen.

Former actress Barbara Boweman, the first to come forward, wrote in an October 27 article for the Daily Mail: “I was drugged and raped by that man.

“He is a monster. He came at me like a monster. My hope is that others who have experienced sexual abuse will not be intimidated into silence by the famous, rich and powerful. If I can help one victim, then I've done my job.”

She added: “I thank Hannibal Burress for speaking out over and over again, despite the threats from the industry that it could ruin his career. He is standing up for me and the other women who are too afraid to speak out.”

Her candid account sparked an onslaught of other women coming forward with similar claims.

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson also claimed the veteran actor and comedian sexually assaulted her in 1982 and others continued to come through with similar claims.

Last week (Dec 12), model Beverly Johnson accused Cosby of sexually abusing her.

Writing her version of events, published in Vanity Fair, the 62-year-old claimed Cosby lured her into his apartment after they met on the set of The Cosby Show, under the guise of wanting to help her further her career.

She claimed she “yelled” at Cosby calling him a “motherf**ker” after realising he had drugged her before Cosby shoved her out of his home.

As a result, appearances on The Queen Latifah Show and The Late Show With David Letterman were cancelled. NBC scrapped a Bill Cosby sitcom that was in development, TV Land pulled The Cosby Show reruns off the air and Netflix indefinitely postponed rolling out Bill Cosby 77, an original stand-up special.

In addition, eight of at least 36 performances in a stand-up comedy tour of the US and Canada have been cancelled.

In his interview with Page Six, Cosby also praised his wife of over 50 years, Camille, who has stood by him throughout the controversy.

"Love and the strength of womanhood," he said. "Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love."

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