Bill Cosby performances in US cancelled amid sexual assault allegations

Shows were cancelled in Nevada, Illinois, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington state

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The Independent US

More Bill Cosby shows are being cancelled by a number of US venues while more women came forward yesterday accusing the 77-year-old comedy veteran of sexual assaults.

Cosby’s representatives have dismissed the accusations and Cosby himself has refused to comment on the claims.

His lawyer, Martin Singer, said yesterday that the claims of women with “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40 or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.”

Performances in Nevada, Illinois, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington state have been cancelled as more women accused the entertainer of having drugged and sexually assaulted them - and he has refused to comment on the allegations.

The claims were made by Carla Ferrigno, wife of Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno; actress Louisa Moritz, who appeared in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest; model-actress Angela Leslie and the then-actress Renita Chaney Hill, who claimed Cosby began drugging and sexually assaulting her when she was 15.

Ferrigno said she, unlike other accusers, was not drugged when Cosby allegedly assaulted her in 1967.

She told Los Angeles radio station KFI that she fought him off in his home as he tried to grab her after his wife Camille had gone to bed.

“I had never been treated so roughly and he pulled me hard to him so hard . . . I was stunned. I was frozen. I took all my body strength and used both of my arms to stop him and push him away from me. He was so forceful,” she claimed.

Moritz, 68, alleged that Cosby - who has never been charged in relation to the allegations - forced her to perform oral sex on him in a dressing room in 1971, to showbiz website TMZ.

Hill, 47, told KDKA radio that she had a five-year relationship with Cosby in the 1980s when she was a teen actress and said they travelled together for the Picture Pages show. She claims that Cosby would insist she have an alcoholic drink, even though she was underage. She said she believes he drugged her because she would have no memory of events the next day.

Mr Singer said: “Over and over again, we have refuted these new, unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork.

“When will it end? It is long past time for this media vilification of Mr Cosby to stop.”

A statement from Cosby last Sunday dismissed the claims as “decade-old, discredited allegations.”

 

Therese Serignese, now 57 and a nurse in Boca Raton, claimed Cosby raped her in 1976 after a show in Las Vegas when she was 19 years old.

Barbara Bowman, who was an aspiring actress, said in a 13 November column in the Washington Post that she was 17 when she blacked-out after Cosby allegedly drugged her, and she said she woke up wearing her underwear and a man's T-shirt with him standing over her. She said she was certain that she was raped.

Journalist and former actress Joan Tarshis, 66, claimed on Monday that she was a 19-year-old who wanted to be a comedy writer when Cosby allegedly gave her spiked drinks twice in 1969 and claims that he forced her to perform a sex act the first time and raped her the second time.

She said she told no one for decades and only decided to go public when she read the Washington Post column by Bowman.

Ex-supermodel Janice Dickinson, accused Cosby while talking to Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday of giving her red wine and a pill when they were together in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982.

Tamara Green, a California lawyer, was among those who had agreed to testify. She later accused Cosby of trying to sexually assault her in her Los Angeles apartment around 1970, when she was a model and an aspiring actress.

She said Cosby gave her two pills that made her almost lose consciousness, took her to her apartment, undressed her and then took his clothes off.

In an Associated Press interview yesterday, she said she recalled screaming and trying to break a window with a lamp as she fought off Cosby’s alleged advances. She claimed he eventually left, leaving two $100 notes.

“I think that my blood pressure and my fury was keeping me from losing consciousness,” she said.

David Fischer, director of the Broadway Center in Washington state, said yesterday that the venue cancelled Cosby’s appearance on 18 April because it conflicts with the non-profit organisation’s mission “to strengthen our community’s social fabric by building empathy, furthering education and sharing joy.”

Cosby’s producers said at least 29 other shows remain on his schedule through May 2015.

A sold-out Cosby comedy show last night in Melbourne, Florida, went on as planned and the actor was greeted with a standing ovation from fans.