Bill Cosby has refused to answer a journalist’s questions on allegations that he sexually assaulted several women over decades.
The 77-year-old comedian has seen scheduled appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and The Queen Latifah Show cancelled and postponed amid the growing controversy.
The host of Weekend Edition Saturday on America’s NPR radio station was speaking to Cosby and his wife, Camille, about their loan of more than 60 pieces of art to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington.
After a relaxed discussion, presenter Scott Simon changed the subject, saying it gave him “no pleasure” to question him on the allegations.
In the silence, Simon said “you’re shaking your head” before urging him to take the chance to deny the alleged crimes, but Cosby did not say a word.
He has not been charged with any cases and settled a civil lawsuit in 2006 with a woman over an alleged incident two years before. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Barbara Bowman, one of Cosby's accusers, has levelled allegations of sexual assault by the comic in interviews and in a Washington Post online column, writing that “Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times”.
Bill Cosby: Career in pictures
Bill Cosby: Career in pictures
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Winner of his first Emmy for 'I Spy' is Bill Cosby being congratulated by his wife Camille held at Americana Hotel, 1966
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Bill Cosby in 'I Spy', 1960s
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Bill Cosby in July 1973 in Perth
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Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor in 'California Suite', 1978
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Bill Cosby and Elmo in Sesame Street, 1989
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Bill Cosby poses for a picture with Florence Griffith-Joyner in June 1989
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Comedian Bill Cosby back in 1992
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A scene from a 1992 episode of 'The Cosby Show'
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US Monica Seles breaks into laughter as she jokes with comedian Bill Cosby during a celebrity match in the stadium at the US Open for the Arthur Ashe AIDS Challenge on 27 August 1995
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Bill Cosby meets Toronto Blue Jays' All-Star Joe Carter after the Stars played the Stripes in the Celebrity All-Star game which preceded workouts for the 67th All-Star Game at Veterans Stadium on 8 July 1996 in Philadephia
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Co-hosts Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby joke with each other during the opening of the 2000 Essence Awards 14 April 2000 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City
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Bill Cosby jokes with baseball great Hank Aaron after they both received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award from U.S. President George W. Bush during a ceremony on 9 July 2002 at the White House in Washington
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Bill Cosby poses backstage after winning the 'Bob Hope Humanitarian Award' during the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on 21 September 2003 in Los Angeles
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'Tonight Show' host Jay Leno and comedian Bill Cosby laugh during a surprise visit by Cosby to sign a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that Leno is using to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at NBC studios on 9 September 2005 in Burbank, California
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Bill Cosby speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios on 14 October 2007 in Washington
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Bill Cosby at the 12th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center on 26 October 2009 in Washington
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Bill Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York on 6 April 2011
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Bill Cosby during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows supporting the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the American Comedy Fund, 2012
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Bill Cosby speaks onstage at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 25th Awards Gala on 11 November 2013 in Washington
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Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on 26 September 2014 in Las Vegas
An effort by his social media team to generate some good publicity last week backfired as the accusations circulated.
A tweet from Cosby’s urged people to create internet “memes” of the actor, saying ”Go ahead. Meme me!“.
It was deleted after Twitter users used the ‘#Cosbymeme hastag as an opportunity to make further allegations.
Additional reporting by AP