NBC Shelves Sitcom Plans, Netflix Postpones Release Of New Special


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newly-released video on Wednesday showed Bill Cosby refusing to discuss sexual assault allegations that have been surrounding him.

As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, when asked about the subject in the Associated Press interview recorded on Nov. 6, Cosby said, “No, no, we don’t answer that,” and, “There is no comment about that.”

Later, he pleaded with the interviewer not even to show the “no comment” response.

“And can I get something from you, that none of that will be shown?” he says in the video.

Earlier Wednesday, NBC is following in Netflix’s footsteps and is shelving plans to develop a new sitcom with Cosby.

The announcement came after model and TV host Janice Dickinson added her name to the women who have accused the comic of sexual assault — accusations Cosby’s attorney calls a lie.

In an “Entertainment Tonight” interview that aired Tuesday, Dickinson said that the 1982 incident occurred in Lake Tahoe, California, where he was performing.

She told the TV newsmagazine that she wrote about the assault in her 2002 autobiography, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel,” but that Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the details.

Several hours after the interview aired, Netflix said that it was postponing the Nov. 27 premiere of a new Cosby standup special, “Bill Cosby 77.” The company’s brief statement did not say why or when the show might debut.

The company had no further comment, a spokeswoman said. NBC also had no comment.

Cosby agreed with the decision, his publicist, David Brokaw, said in an email Tuesday.

Amid the fallout, Cosby cancelled appearances on several talk shows, but an AP interview from two weeks ago has surfaced showing the comedian displeased with questions about rape.

Cosby’s attorney Martin D. Singer issued a statement calling Dickinson’s accusation “a lie.”

“There is a glaring contradiction between what she is claiming now for the first time and what she wrote in her own book and what she told the media back in 2002,” Singer said. “Ms. Dickinson did an interview with the New York Observer in September 2002 entitled ‘Interview with a Vamp’ completely contradicting her new story about Mr. Cosby. That interview a dozen years ago said ‘she didn’t want to go to bed with him and he blew her off.’

“Her publisher Harper Collins can confirm that no attorney representing Mr. Cosby tried to kill the alleged rape story (since there was no such story) or tried to prevent her from saying whatever she wanted about Bill Cosby in her book,” Singer continued. “The only story she gave 12 years ago to the media and in her autobiography was that she refused to sleep with Mr. Cosby and he blew her off. Documentary proof and Ms. Dickinson’s own words show that her new story about something she now claims happened back in 1982 is a fabricated lie.”

In the TV interview, Dickinson said she met Cosby in Lake Tahoe at his urging after he said that he would help her with her singing career. They had met earlier when her agent had introduced them, hoping that she could get a job on “The Cosby Show.”

Dickinson said that after dinner, she and Cosby were in her hotel room and that he gave her some red wine and a pill. She told “Entertainment Tonight” she had asked for a pill because she had stomach pains.

“The next morning, I woke up and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas, and I remembered before I passed out I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she said. She said she remembered Cosby dropping the robe he had been wearing and getting on top of her.

She said she never confronted Cosby about the incident.

“I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do and this happened to me and this is a true story,” she said.

In the memoir, Dickinson described stopping at Cosby’s hotel room door when he invited her in after dinner. She declined, claiming exhaustion.

“After all I’ve done for you, that’s what I get?” Dickinson quoted Cosby as saying. He then “gave me the dirtiest, meanest look in the world, stepped into his suite, and slammed the door in my face,” she wrote.

Cosby, 77, who was never criminally charged in any case, settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident two years before.

Attention to the legendary entertainer’s past flared suddenly in recent weeks after another comic, Hannibal Buress, called Cosby a “rapist” during a Philadelphia performance. More than a dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, including Barbara Bowman, who wrote an online Washington Post piece.

Cosby has remained silent, and his attorney, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement Sunday saying his client would not dignify “decade-old, discredited” claims of sexual abuse with a response. Schmitt later exempted the 2006 civil case from the blanket statement.

Cosby will continue to take his stand-up act on the road, with his next sold-out show scheduled for Florida on Friday. He is schedule to perform two shows on Dec. 6 at Tarrytown Music Hall.

Syracuse University Professor Bob Thompson, a pop culture expert, said the allegations have tarnished Cosby’s legacy.

“Now it looks like there’s going to be a great, big asterisk whenever talk about Cosby in television history, and it may be something that we actually never see charged and tried in court,” Thompson told WCBS 880. “It looks like most people have drawn their conclusions about this already.”

TV Land has also announced that it would no longer air Cosby Show re-runs. It is unclear if other networks will do the same.

Cosby will take his standup routine on the road, his next scheduled date is in Florida on Friday, that show is sold out.

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