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Bill Cosby's wife defends husband over sexual assault claims

STANDING BY HER MAN: Bill and Camille Cosby

BILL COSBY'S wife Camille has spoken out for the first time to defend her "wonderful husband" against claims of sexual assault.

Bill Cosby, 77, who's best known for his role as Heathcliff Huxtable in The Cosby Show, has been accused of more than 15 cases of rape and attempted rape.

In a statement, the actor and comedian's wife said: "He is the man you thought you knew."

Mrs Cosby, who has been married to the comedian for 50 years, also said she continued to love the man she "fell in love with".

"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?"

This is the first time Mrs Cosby has spoken out publicly against the claims, and in the statement she insisted that the stories written about her husband had not been vetted properly by the media.

She compared the treatment of her husband to a Rolling Stone article about a rape at the University of Virginia which later 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.

The magazine, which has faced widespread criticism for its account of the alleged gang rape of a student named Jackie, has apologised for the report.

She added that her husband's accusers had been "given a pass" by the media, and that "an accusation is published, and immediately goes viral".

The mother-of-five, who married Bill a year after they met in 1964, said: "He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband."

Earlier this week, Mr Cosby also broke his silence amid the 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.

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