Cosby’s Attorney Issues an Amazing Statement

I haven’t commented yet on the allegations against Bill Cosby. I have long said that if you were going to start a Mt. Rushmore of comedy, the first three faces on it would be Carlin, Pryor and Cosby. But as more and more women come forward, and now a 90-year old man who used to be his “fixer,” it has become undeniable that he is very likely a serial rapist. His attorney released this incredible statement on Friday:

‘The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.

These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.

Lawsuits are filed against people in the public eye every day. There has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men, so it makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward for the first time now ever asserted a legal claim back at the time they allege they had been sexually assaulted.

This situation is an unprecedented example of the media’s breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards. 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.’

There’s just so much that is absurd and appalling about this statement. First of all, there’s nothing “fantastical” about the stories being told. Women are drugged and raped every day. Second, what does he expect the media to do, not report on the allegations? That would be completely irresponsible on their part. And they have practically begged Cosby to give his side of the story and he has refused. So any media problem here is entirely his fault.

But the real problem is in the paragraph I put in bold. His argument is nonsensical and hypocritical. If they had filed lawsuits, this same lawyer would immediately brand them as money-grubbing golddiggers making up lies to get rich. But now his claim is that the fact that they didn’t sue proves that they’re making up lies…NOT to get rich? Heads, men win; tails, women lose. As usual.

Addendum: Please don’t bring up “innocent before proven guilty.” If he is charged in court, he will absolutely have such an assumption and he should. But that does not mean that outside the court, we can’t reach reasoned judgments ourselves.

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  • colnago80

    In terms of criminal or civil actions, it appears that the statute of limitations has run out on most if not all the allegations. In which case, the only damage is to his reputation, which is now in the shredder.

    He could, of course, sue the accusers for libel and/or slander but no lawyer in his/her right mind would take the case (of course, there is always Matt Staver and Larry Klayman).

  • Chiroptera

    What’s incredible about the bolded part? That same paragraph is trotted out every single time women come forward with stories like this. It should be incredible that someone would say that, but unfortunately it’s not.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    He should check out the way that Jimmy Saville escaped prosecution: he might get some good ideas…

  • gshelley

    Didn’t one of the victims settle out of court a couple of decades ago?

    Not just Kimmy Saville, Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris both got away with their crimes at the time

    Saville does seem the best comparison though, as it seems a lot of people were aware of what was happening, but just chose to ignore it.

  • eric

    now his claim is that the fact that they didn’t sue proves that they’re making up lies…NOT to get rich? Heads, men win; tails, women lose

    I expect that most if not all of the women are telling the truth. Having said that, IANAL but AIUI these are civil cases, so money well definitely still be a factor. If for no other reason than its difficult for me to see what else the plaintiffs could reasonably ask for. An admission of guilt? Not for rape: that would open Cosby up to criminal charges. Admission of illegal activities is far rarer than a large money payout – pretty much no defendant agrees to such things. Public service? Hard to imagine that. The standard way civil suits fix legal harm is by money, so money it will probably be.

  • madgastronomer

    The stories are hardly new. Some members of the media have known about them for ten years and said nothing. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about the press (including himself) having ignored it. So did Erin Keane at Salon.

  • Who Cares

    The lawyer is more savvy then you give him credit for

    There is nothing in there that denies that Cosby did it.

    Just that it is ridiculous, absurd & fantastical to accuse him of doing so.

    Which plays on the nice guy personality of Huxtable that he played on the Cosby show and that most people know.

    Else said the attack on the women how are accusing Cosby is already underway with this press release trying to sway public opinion in favor or Cosby.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    gshelley

    You have a point, I was just trying to come up with a subtle way of telling him to drop dead.

  • abb3w

    Who Cares

    There is nothing in there that denies that Cosby did it.

    Hm. Subtle point. If Cosby had admitted an offense to his lawyer, it would be a gross violation of the legal canons to say that he had committed the offense (without unlikely instruction from his client); but wouldn’t it then also be a violation for the lawyer to assert knowingly a false claim that Cosby had not committed the offense?

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    ‘The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks

    From what I heard (and this is unsubstantiated on my part past hearsay) but I believe Janice Dickinson had actually put it in her memoirs she wrote in the early 2000’s, but her Ghost writer wouldn’t put it in.

    Actuually, a quick Google gives some weight to the story:

    http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/exclusive-janice-dickinson-ghostwriter-confirms-her-bill-cosby-account-46561

  • caseloweraz

    I’ve wondered about the statue of limitations. Many of these cases occurred too long ago to prosecute — but not all. It depends on the state where they occurred. Mother Jones provides a table.

  • busterggi

    Kinda makes one wonder if the dirt about JFK would have become public if he were still alive and able to schmooze.

    For an old fan though this is awfully painful & I wish I could say its unbelievable, one or two accusations maybe I could excuse away but the numbers are getting worse.

  • John Pieret

    abb3w @ 9:

    wouldn’t it then also be a violation for the lawyer to assert knowingly a false claim that Cosby had not committed the offense?

    A lawyer could probably still say he was “not guilty,” since so many things go into whether or not a person is guilty of a crime. The safer course would still be to dance around the issue of whether or not he committed the alleged acts.

  • caseloweraz

    OK, to make my position clear, I think these allegations of rape are generally credible. I haven’t looked at them individually, but I’ve read that many of the women were looking to Cosby to further their careers. This, along with his good reputation and stature at the time, gives him the means of putting some pressure on them to keep quiet. Then, of course, there were the out-of-court settlements: good for Cosby, as they didn’t make the headlines (much).

    I’ve long admired Cosby for his comedy work, his acting in I Spy and The Cosby Show. With these new revelations, and an old case, I cannot admire the man himself. The old case is not related to the present issue. It involves a fight between Cosby and Tommy Smothers. I heard about it years ago, but only just had reason to research it. The story is here.

  • LightningRose

    Ed, Why are you ignoring Lenny Bruce?

    Without Lenny Bruce there would never have been George Carlin, Richard Pryor, or Dick Gregory.

  • busterggi

    Well then Rose, how about Stan Frieberg?

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    A lot of the women did come forward a long tiem ago and the press just picked it up recently. I believe less than half the accusations are recent. At least two tried to get the police involved and more had civil suits that were settled out of court.

  • Kevin Kehres

    But they wanted to have their wine glasses continually topped off take those drugs! I mean, nothing stopped them from getting drunk drugged…except for the fact that they weren’t told they were deliberately being given an overdose of alcohol being drugged.

    Sounds depressingly like someone else’s alleged playbook, doesn’t it?

  • Kevin Kehres

    @12 busterggi

    Consent. Consent. Consent.

    I have never ever ready anything about JFK that even vaguely insinuated anything other than his entering into mutually consensual affairs with a variety of women.

    Consent is the difference. Consent. Consent. Consent.

    A consensual affair is not rape. It may be a shitty thing to do to one’s wife — but it definitely isn’t rape.

    Consent. Consent. Consent.

  • scienceavenger

    it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.

    This sounds like the sort of thing someone from Vulcan would say. Here on planet earth, we understand that women with no power are often unwilling to take on a man with power in such situations. And of course, it is so much more logical that suddenly so many women would come forward with made up stories in order to enjoy the villification they will undoubtedly experience.

    If they had filed lawsuits, this same lawyer would immediately brand them as money-grubbing golddiggers making up lies to get rich.

    Please, you sound like the Christians who tell us atheists that we would fall to our knees once we occupied a foxhole. No point in engaging in baseless speculation when you have hard evidence on your side.

    A consensual affair is not rape. It may be a shitty thing to do to one’s wife — but it definitely isn’t rape.

    Please notify Ken Starr.

  • Michael Heath

    I hadn’t seen the fixer story till the link in Ed’s blog post. My immediate reaction on that story is that the cast and crew of the Cosby Show must have known what Bill Cosby was doing in his dressing room.

  • Michael Heath

    On a related note I highly recommend reading the Rolling Stone’s recent article on the pervasive rape culture at the U. of VA. That and how it was at least enabled, if not effectively promoted, by UVA administrators.

  • children7

    It is not at all uncommon for sexual abuse victims to say nothing to authorities for decades, if ever. To tell anyone is a difficult thing, much less making it public. But in the case of a rich, powerful, well loved man such as Bill Cosby, who would have believed them? And then he trots out the old victim-blaming idea that people make accusations of having been raped in order to make money or become famous. It is nothing more than the typical creation of a false victim-making Bill Cosby the injured party, and making the survivors the bad guys.

  • Kevin Kehres

    @20…what the fuck does Ken Starr have to do with Kennedy?

    Consensual affairs are not crimes. They may represent a breach of contract (a civil tort) that results in divorce. But they are not crimes.

    Seriously, quit moving the fucking goalposts.

    Consent. Consent. Consent. There’s a difference between having an affair and raping someone. That difference can be boiled down to a single word. Consent.

  • http://dontlinkmebro F [i’m not here, i’m gone]

    What documentary evidence?

  • triamacleod

    Kevin @ 24

    I believe the Ken Starr reference was regarding Bill Clinton’s affair(s) being treated as a crime instead of as a private issue between he and Hillary. To the best of my recollection all of his partners were also consenting, but Starr made it out to be the worst crime to ever take place in the Oval Office. Since Clinton and Kennedy were both famous politicians the association would seem to make sense.

  • matty1

    @26 I have seen it argued that Clinton’s power over Lewinsky as not just her employer but head of the whole organisation she worked for (US govt) meant that he had undue ability to coerce her consent and so her consent was not really freely given. The analogy was made to sex between a doctor and patient or a professor and (adult) student.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this argument but it is out there.

  • Dunc

    This situation is an unprecedented example of the media’s breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards.

    It’s about ethics in video games entertainment journalism!

  • thebookofdave

    I’ve wondered about the statue of limitations

    Me too, caseloweraz. Public Defender would have been my favorite comic hero, except for the exceptionally weak character development of his sidekick. I wish The Statue of Limitations had a more developed backstory, and participated in at least a few action scenes.

  • caseloweraz

    Huh? I would have though tha you would have corrected my mistake of leaving ou the final “t” in words. Bu did you? No! Fine friend you are!

    But seriously, good catch. Good thing I wasn’t out in the garden with the “statutes” of weeping angels when I wrote that last.