Bill Cosby's reputation for family & faith continues to take hits

by Christian Examiner, |

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Rape accusations continue to haunt Bill Cosby as two more women have come forward to charge the 77-year-old comedian.

Cosby's comedic genius rocketed him to the national stage which he has used to speak out about the broken U.S. education system and the plight of Black families. He epitomized fatherhood in his role as head of television's Huxtable family, and engendered himself to American moms pushing "Jell-O Pudding Pops" for kids.

He also shares openly about his faith in God and growing up in the church.

But all that has been sullied by the growing chorus of sexual assault charges.

Fifty-nine-year-old former supermodel Janice Dickinson and 45-year-old journalist and publicist Joan Tarshis Tuesday, revealed details publicy, Nov.18. Dickinson said that Cosby invited her to Lake Tahoe in 1982 because he said he had a spot for her on "The Cosby Show." After dinner in his hotel room, she said she asked for a pill because of stomach pains, but he drugged her instead.

"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," Dickinson said on "Entertainment Tonight." She described Cosby as dropping his patchwork robe before getting on top of her.

Tarshis' claim was similar: she told CNN host Don Lemon that she met Cosby in 1969 and visited him on the set of "The Cosby Show." When she went to his bungalow to work on comedy routines, he made her a drink and drugged her, she alleges.

"I woke up or came to very groggily with him removing my underwear," she said. Even when she tried to stop him – Tarshis told Cosby she had an infection – the comedian wasn't dissuaded, forcing her to have oral sex with him.

Even though she vowed to never see Cosby again, she accepted his invitation to see him perform at a theater in Westbury, New York. After accepting drinks at his hotel, she passed out and woke up naked in the comedian's bed, she told Lemon.

Cosby's lawyers have roundly dismissed the claims of Dickinson, Tarshis and all other accusers.

"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced," John P. Schmitt stated Sunday. "The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment."

Another one of the comedian's lawyers, Martin Singer, told The Wrap that what Dickinson said was an "outrageous, defamatory lie."

Still, the repeated accusations— 15 in total— have taken their toll on Cosby's business dealings. The comedian had a stand up special called "Cosby 77" in development for Netflix and another sitcom coming to NBC in 2015. Both have been canceled.

The resurfacing of the rape accusations against Cosby began with comedian Hannibal Burress calling the legendary funnyman a rapist in a stand-up comedy bit on YouTube in October.