One of the commonalities that's risen out of sexual abuse allegations by Andrea Constand, Barbara Bowman, Tamara Green and now Joan Tarshis against Bill Cosby is that the comedian and actor was able to sexually assault them because, they say, he drugged them first.
In light of such information, a recently resurfaced bit about "drugging" women with Spanish fly from his 1969 album "It's True! It's True!" is not doing Cosby any favors. Tarshis alleged that Cosby drugged and raped her the same year.
In his stand-up act, Cosby recounts the story of being 13 years old and learning that slipping Spanish fly into the drink of a girl called "Crazy Mary" would make her amenable to less-than-honorable advances.
"From then on, anytime you see a girl, 'Wish I had some Spanish fly,'" Cosby said, trailing off. "Go to a party, see five girls standing alone. Boy, if I had a whole jug of Spanish fly I'd light that corner up over there. Haaa ha ha."
A refresher: Spanish fly, an alleged aphrodisiac derived from dried beetle dung, can cause urinary infections and scar the mouth, throat and urinary tract — and is generally pretty horrible, sometimes deadly. Plus it only "works" on men.
That's only the latest on Cosby's ever-spiraling rape allegation crisis. In August we raised the question of whether past rape allegations would have any bearing on Cosby's new primetime NBC show, currently scheduled for a summer or fall 2015 premiere. Nellie Andreeva of Deadline Hollywood does not think Cosby — or the show for that matter — will fare well. On Monday, Andreeva compared the scandal currently engulfing Cosby, which has grown so much that he's canceled two television appearances in its wake, to the one Woody Allen faced during awards season last year. Wrote Andreeva:
"Allen is a writer-director. He no longer stars in his movies as he did in the past. Meanwhile, Cosby continues to be identified with his characters. His Heathcliff Huxtable from 'The Cosby Show' is near the top of every list of America's favorite TV dads of all time.
"On the upcoming NBC comedy, executive produced by 'The Cosby Show's' Tom Werner, Cosby is to star as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multi-generational family, who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives.
"In light of the renewed rape accusations, will viewers accept Cosby as a lovable grandfather dispensing advice? With the cloud over Cosby's head, that proposition also will be hard for NBC to sell to advertisers. … The lack of public denial by Cosby makes NBC's position even more difficult."
Andreeva counseled that addressing the allegations head-on could possibly help Cosby. At this point, with yet another accuser having come forward, it can't possibly hurt. But even on that point, there's little consensus. Howard Bragman, the public relations mastermind who has orchestrated many a coming out, offered Cosby some free advice. "He should shut the f_ up!" Bragman told the Wrap. "He should have his lawyers shut the f_ up, and his PR people shut the f_ up."
The best option Cosby may have may be to go to ground for awhile and disappear altogether. The official word from network executives is that the show is still in development, which could mean a whole lot of nothing. As Andreeva noted, that's the same language they used before they killed a miniseries on former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Tarshis, the latest woman to publicly accuse Cosby of rape, spoke with CNN's Don Lemon Monday night after revealing in a blog post that Cosby allegedly assaulted her. She reiterated that she didn't tell anyone or go to the police because she didn't think anyone would believe her. "They'd probably think I was out to get something," Tarshis said.
(c) 2014, The Washington Post
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