America’s wholesome image of Bill Cosby as the family-loving, sweater-clad dad of The Cosby Show was further thrown into doubt last night as his former university announced he had resigned from the board following a string of sexual assault allegations.
A statement from Temple University, in Philadelphia, said Mr Cosby, an alumni of the university who had subsequently sat on its board for more than 30 years, was acting in its "best interests".
It quoted Mr Cosby as saying: “I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees.”
While other universities and a growing number of media and entertainment companies have cut ties with the comedian in wake of a growing number of sexual assault allegations, Temple University had previously stood by the 77-year-old entertainer who is facing mounting pressure to directly address up to as many as 20 allegations of sexual assault. On Monday an online petition, created on November 21, had gathered more than 1,000 digital signatories. “It's time for Temple to recognize that continuing its relationship with Bill Cosby is damaging to its own reputation, as well as its students, employees and alumni,” part of the petition read. “It's time for Temple University to sever its ties with this man.”
On Monday a statement read: "The Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Cosby's resignation from the board and thanks him for his service to the university.”
The 77-year-old star had previously declined to comment on allegations during a 6 November interview with the Associated Press, video of which emerged last month. As that interview concluded, Mr Cosby requested that the segment about the allegations be "scuttled", suggesting that by broaching the subject, AP's reporter had compromised his integrity.
Mr Cosby and his representatives have consistently and strenuously denied accusations against him. His lawyers have described them as "discredited", “ridiculous” and "defamatory." He has never been charged with any crime related to the allegations.Reuse content