Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bill Cosby won’t respond to “innuendos” of repeated, detailed allegations

Illustration for article titled Bill Cosby won’t respond to “innuendos” of repeated, detailed allegations

As the accusations against Bill Cosby have become an occurrence requiring their own daily weather-style update, the comedian has remained committed to admitting nothing—except to the humorous difficulties of marriage, that is. Indeed, amid the firestorm of controversy, Cosby has kept up his stand-up touring schedule (at venues that have not canceled on him), most recently performing a sold-out show in Florida to two standing ovations.

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Earlier that week, the hosts of Orlando-based radio show The News Junkie had offered $1,000 to anyone who confronted Cosby mid-show. Despite a precautionary announcement by the theater on how to deal with any sort of disruption, however, nothing happened. Instead, Cosby performed to a crowd filled with supporters who told the media that they didn’t believe the allegations. And in an interview with Florida Today, Cosby denounced the planned heckling as “asking people to have a frat house mentality,” wondering aloud what would happen if “someone brings a weapon,” and suggesting that calling for people to confront him with the charges only serves to “entice violence.” But besides suggesting that these sorts of protests might lead to an assassination attempt, Cosby made clear he doesn’t traffic in “innuendos.”

“I know people are tired of me not saying anything,” Cosby said. “But a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”

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Over the weekend, several more women came forward to offer more of those sorts of oblique, allusive, graphically detailed “innuendos” that Cosby might have behaved inappropriately toward the people actually averring that he did—including Law & Order: SVU actress Michelle Hurd, comedy club manager Joyce Emmons, Kristina Ruehli (another of the no-longer-anonymous “Jane Does” named in Andrea Costand’s lawsuit), and former model Jewel Allison. Their stories join the very similar ones from a dozen-plus others that have now entered the public record, which is a fact you can check.

Hurd says that, during her days as a stand-in on The Cosby Show, Cosby would subject her to “weird acting exercises where he would move his hands up and down my body,” which set her on edge enough to refuse an invite to “come to his house, take a shower.” Hurd also tells of another Cosby Show stand-in he targeted, who had the experience of being drugged and sexually assaulted—the same as Ruehli, Allison, and Cosby’s other accusers. “We may be looking at America’s greatest serial rapist that ever got away with this for the longest amount of time,” Allison hinted to the New York Daily News in her own sly innuendo, wink wink.

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Adding to these subtle, suggestive overtones made by people who claim to have been there and experienced the things they’re accusing him of, Frank Scotti, an ex-employee of NBC, told the New York Daily News he’d been charged with keeping Cosby’s secrets while working as the facilities manager of the Cosby Show studio. Scotti says he was asked to guard Cosby’s dressing room while he “interviewed” models, some as young as 16. He also says Cosby tasked him with sending monthly payments to eight different women through money orders, often for as much as $2,000 at a time, with Scotti saying he held onto the receipts (known as “the innuendo of paper”).

In response to all these increasingly repetitive, explicitly detailed implications, Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, has been working overtime drafting letters that blast his client’s accusers as fame-seeking liars. For example, the story of the 90-year-old Scotti, Singer tells NYDN, is “pure speculation so that he can get his 15 minutes of fame” as Cosby’s stooge and unwitting accomplice.

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And as for the women who have and continue to accuse him, Singer says in a statement to Variety that their stories are “becoming increasingly ridiculous,” adding that “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.” Of course, Singer’s latest statement is addressed only to those who have made “brand new claims,” thus sidestepping the dozen or so women who did attempt to assert a civil claim.

Still, Singer asserts, surely it is illogical to believe that all of these women who say they were sexually assaulted by a much older, much more powerful man—many of them while attempting to launch their own show business careers, most of them in an era in which overcoming the incredible shame and burden of proof society places on rape victims was even more difficult than it is now—would have felt like they couldn’t say anything to anyone.

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Much more logically, the statement suggests via its own innuendo, is that they would only do so decades later—long after they’d built up lives of their own—so that they could disrupt them in order to garner the glory that comes from telling the world a shame-filled rape story, being part of this vast conspiracy to bring down a beloved comedian for no particular reason, and to be pilloried as liars and opportunists on the much broader stage of the Internet.

Singer’s statement concludes by, again, condemning the constant “media vilification” of Cosby—in which the media goes to great lengths to vilify Cosby by reporting these women’s allegations against him, while also reporting Cosby’s assertions that they’re obviously liars who don’t merit a response. (Note: This is an example of actual innuendo.)

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