Bill Cosby, Serial Rapist?

In 2006, Bill Cosby was accused of raping several women in assaults that go back to the 70s. Tom Scocca at Gawker has the story. Weirdly, I have absolutely no recollection of these accusations being published in People magazine and discussed on the Today show.

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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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46 Responses

  1. Linda A. Lavid
    Linda A. Lavid February 5, 2014 at 9:34 am |

    That guy always creeped me out. Very pompous and not funny. Somes responses from the article above questioned why he would need to drug women. I suspect he drugged them so that they would not remember or be confused about what happened. Let’s face it paying off victims can get expensive.

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie February 5, 2014 at 10:12 am |

      Not to mention, creeps “get off” on helpless victims. Also, I love the “why would he need to drug women? ANYONE would fuck HIM!” mentality.

      I never liked him, either.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am |

        Also, I love the “why would he need to drug women? ANYONE would fuck HIM!” mentality.

        Well, he’s got a lot of money and that’s what all women want.

        Content note: sarcasm

        1. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie February 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm |

          Exactly, Fat Steve. “Plus, he’s FUNNY and FAMOUS!”

    2. McMike
      McMike February 25, 2014 at 10:10 am |

      That guy always creeped me out.

      I can believe the not funny part, but always creeped me out?

  2. EG
    EG February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am |

    I remember hearing about the one woman back then; I don’t think I knew there were multiple accounts. Man, I hate this one. He is smart and funny and very good at what he does. It’s a shame he’s also a rapist asshole.

  3. psedualicious
    psedualicious February 5, 2014 at 10:10 am |

    What the?! GODDAMMIT.

  4. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 5, 2014 at 10:18 am |

    WHAT#@(%@#%*)@#(%*@#%@#%#@%@#(%

    FUCK

    I did not know about this

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable February 5, 2014 at 11:07 am |

      I had literally the same reaction, but expressed less eloquently. WTflyingF.

      God, somehow this shit feels so much worse to me when it’s a guy you think of as a father figure.

  5. Ally S
    Ally S February 5, 2014 at 10:28 am |

    I hate the world.

  6. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin February 5, 2014 at 10:35 am |

    How commonplace is this sort of thing? That’s what I want to know. I recognize that many people want to whitewash allegations like these. Cosby’s supporters may well claim that these women were all out for money. If this was a matter of paternity, I know that many male stars are accused of baseless charges that they’ve fathered a child.

    But this is different and I wonder if it will produce further scrutiny.

  7. Donna L
    Donna L February 5, 2014 at 11:03 am |

    Wow. I honestly have no recollection of this. None.

  8. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    Zero memory of this. I was aware he’s thought of as a huge asshole in real life but never heard of the rapes.

  9. Drahill
    Drahill February 5, 2014 at 11:41 am |

    Yeah, I’m wracking my brain over how this slipped by. I do remember him becoming involved in a paternity dispute a while back, but that’s about all.

    Gosh, I wonder if the sweeping under the rug of stuff like this is something linked to the idea of tragedy and people who have “been through enough.” I’ve met people who defend Polanski by arguing that his life has been so full of suffering that people should “let the rape stuff go” owing to the tragedies surrounding his family in Europe and especially Sharon Tate. Bill Cosby still holds a lot of sympathy from a lot of people due to his son’s murder – which was by all accounts totally senseless and tragic and terrible. But why should these things be allowed to serve as shields? Learning this makes me really think about how these people continually get passes.

    1. samanthab
      samanthab February 7, 2014 at 10:59 am |

      Wasn’t his son’s murder later? I’m not sure of the timeline, but, yeah, I don’t remember hearing about this stuff, either, which makes me think that the media decided it wasn’t much of a story. Gross.

      1. Drahill
        Drahill February 7, 2014 at 11:06 am |

        His son was murdered in 1997, so I think that would pre-date any public accusations – although the acts alleged go back way before the son’s murder (and even birth). It makes me wonder if the spectre of the tragedy of his son was considered as a reason to not really run with these accusations or publicize them more widely. I’m not sure, but it certainly makes me think.

        1. samanthab
          samanthab February 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm |

          Maybe that’s a contributing factor- it was a horrific incident. But it’s beginning to look like every successful dude in Hollywood gets a pass, no matter what the circumstances. It’s revolting.

  10. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve February 5, 2014 at 11:47 am |

    I can’t help but think of the following quotes from Baron Acton:

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    “Great men are almost always bad men.”

    1. Marksman2000
      Marksman2000 February 10, 2014 at 5:22 am |

      Yes, this can be true; I’ve seen it played out before my very eyes. Insofar as public figures are concerned, these so-called “great men” are often guilty of the most egregious crimes.

      Look at those two statements and consider former President Bill Clinton…

  11. ldouglas
    ldouglas February 5, 2014 at 11:55 am |

    God fucking dammit.

  12. trees
    trees February 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm |

    I remember this, it was right around the same time he was showing his ass in other ways. I had pretty much written him off by the time he started trying to shame black people for giving children names he doesn’t like. Admittedly, I was never fan, with the exception of Fat Albert, which I loved!

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm |

      Yeah, I remember it being in the news a few years back. It must have had a fair bit of coverage if it got mentioned in the newspapers here – and it’s not like Cosby’s some sort of huge cult figure here, either.

    2. Tim
      Tim February 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm |

      So, the other bad stuff he did is bad (agreed) but fat-shaming is not only OK, but funny? All right, then.

      1. trees
        trees February 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm |

        For serious? ‘Cause the main character is named Fat Albert? Have you ever actually seen episodes of the show; are you objecting to the content or just the use of the term “fat”? Mine you, we’re talking about a cartoon I enjoyed as a very young child. I am neither supporting nor condemning the program.

        1. Tim
          Tim February 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm |

          A statement that you “loved” something might sometimes be taken as a sign of support, but maybe you meant something else. For my part, I did not especially enjoy, as a young child, going to school every morning and walking into the classroom and hearing the taunting, “Here comes fat Albert. HEY HEY HEY.”

          Your mileage obviously varied.

        2. trees
          trees February 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm |

          So you went to school with a bunch of assholes…? Is this really about the television program? Have you ever seen the show? I thought “fat” was used as a neutral statement of fact, not as a slur. If I remember correctly, all the characters had descriptive nicknames.

        3. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm |

          For serious? ‘Cause the main character is named Fat Albert? Have you ever actually seen episodes of the show; are you objecting to the content or just the use of the term “fat”? Mine you, we’re talking about a cartoon I enjoyed as a very young child. I am neither supporting nor condemning the program.

          @trees
          In the lens of 30+ years of reflection, I’d probably agree that characters like Fat Albert, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, etc do lack a certain sensitivity to outsider groups. So while I can see Tim’s point, I found it pretty clear that you were saying you ‘loved’ Fat Albert you meant loved as in the distant past, i.e. as a child, not as in yesterday.

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm |

          …and this line of conversation is a total de-rail.

      2. Marksman2000
        Marksman2000 February 10, 2014 at 5:25 am |

        So you went to school with a bunch of assholes…?

        If you attended school, you went to school with assholes.

        1. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 10, 2014 at 11:35 am |

          If you attended school, you went to school with assholes.

          True…everyone’s got one.

    3. Tim
      Tim February 7, 2014 at 12:28 am |

      OK, I was probably somewhat harsh — I don’t blame you for liking the show as a small child. But Cosby’s “Fat Albert” routines were a serious trigger for me, even as I enjoyed some of his other material. I may be thinking more of the stand-up stuff, as we had some of his LPs (that’s dating myself).

      @Fat Steve as for this being a “total derail,” I’m not so sure. Certainly a tangent or digression from the specific topic of rape, but who was the one making up all those nicknames, and who were the guys they were being applied to? That kind of thing is not harmless fun; it’s bullying. If he was doing that as a teenager and he got off on it and even got rewarded for it, how far did he go with it? I think that sexual harassment and even rape could be possible results of escalating that behavior.

      1. trees
        trees February 7, 2014 at 11:01 am |

        Reply to Tim and Fat Steve@Spillover

      2. EG
        EG February 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm |

        That kind of thing is not harmless fun; it’s bullying. If he was doing that as a teenager and he got off on it and even got rewarded for it, how far did he go with it? I think that sexual harassment and even rape could be possible results of escalating that behavior.

        That’s like claiming that heroin addicts start off by smoking pot. That’s no doubt true, but it doesn’t mean that pot-smoking leads or is related to heroin addiction. And making fun of other kids in school, while mean, is not some kind of gateway drug to rape.

  13. Kerandria
    Kerandria February 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

    I has a sad.

  14. Computer Soldier Porygon
    Computer Soldier Porygon February 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

    I was aware of some of Bill Cosby’s assholery, but man, I had no idea about this. I didn’t know about Dylan Farrow either, but I was a little kid when that came out the first time. For this, I was ~19 and at the time I had a bit of a tabloid fixation as well. Hrrrm.

  15. Sid
    Sid February 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm |

    Funny, this was an exact post by a friend on Facebook. But the Internet hyper-viral machine/social media wasn’t as developed then as it is now. Bill Cosby, like Woody Allen, is definitely not funny. And worse, he’s an apologist for the worst fears about black people that white people have. Unfortunately, i think that’s part of the reason why media has attempted to sweep these allegations under the rug for these men: they’re great popularizers/portrayers of their respective subaltern communities.

  16. TomSims
    TomSims February 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

    Although a completely different subject, Gawker has been accused of predatory journalism by film director Quentin Tarantino. And that goes to the credibility of anything they publish.

    http://nypost.com/2014/01/27/tarantino-sues-gawker-for-leaking-hateful-eight-script/

    1. EG
      EG February 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm |

      I don’t see how. They’re not being accused of making things up. They’re being accused of revealing something that Tarantino would have rather they didn’t. What does that have to do with the price of tea? Further, as you’d know if you’d read the piece, it is not revealing anything that has not already been documented in public sources.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm |

        Although a completely different subject, Gawker has been accused of predatory journalism by film director Quentin Tarantino. And that goes to the credibility of anything they publish.

        http://nypost.com/2014/01/27/tarantino-sues-gawker-for-leaking-hateful-eight-script/

        What EG said.

        …and NY Post the headline is a misnomer, he didn’t sue them for leaking the script, he sued them to linking to the leaked script.

    2. Drahill
      Drahill February 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

      Uh, no Tom. If you actually bothered to click through and read the article, the Gawker piece simply compiles the information about the allegations against Cosby from sources that are already a matter of public record. Cosby’s first accuser made her allegations public through a lawsuit, which is a matter of public record. A second woman did a public interview under her own name with Matt Laurer, which again, is public. The attorneys representing the woman attested that they would call 13 other women to testify to similar experiences – and again, these filings are a matter of public record. 2 of those 13 women gave public interviews under their own names to Philadelphia publications – again, public record. Another did a public interview with People magazine.

      I fail to see how a piece that purely draws off records already made public and easily obtainable can be called predatory journalism. Gawker did not make up any of the allegations or misrepresent them – they’re reported as the public records allege.

      If you’re going to engage in rape apologia, Tom, you might want to at least spend some creativity on it. Your argument is sort of tried and true.

      1. TomSims
        TomSims February 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm |

        @Drayhill;

        No, I’m not a rape apologist or any other kind of apologist. If Bill Cosby is a rapist, prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. I’m no lawyer, but have read that prosectors need evidence to prosecute anyone of any crime.

        I did visit the Googleverse and low and behold the white supremists are all over this one.

        http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t887524-3/

  17. Linda A. Lavid
    Linda A. Lavid February 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm |

    Cosby allegations of sexual assault have been covered by mainstream media. In 2006, he paid off one woman after thirteen others were prepared to testify in her case regarding similar assaults. Meanwhile, he’s winning awards and has become (always has been) an elitist for trashing women and the poor. One of his witticisms…”Women don’t want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think – in a deeper voice.” Whatever the hell that means.

  18. Athenia
    Athenia February 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm |

    In 2006, I was in college, so I wouldn’t have been watching the Today Show every morning.

    However, whenever I have seen Bill Cosby on the Today Show, or on the news, it’s always about how he’s speaking out about how black kids need to pull up their pants, learn grammar and shut off the TV. So.

  19. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 6, 2014 at 6:34 pm |

    Comrade Kevin, you are really asking, “How commonplace is this sort of thing?” Have you ever read any post here that discusses rape, rape culture, “gray” rape, “date” rape, Steubenville, Take Back the Night, “No means Yes/Yes means Anal”?

    If not, here’s one example (copy and delete spaces):

    http: // www. xojane . com/issues/what-is-it-about-powerful-men-and-very-young-girls

  20. Andie
    Andie February 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm |

    I remember a few years back there was a “Bill Cosby Fun Game” that was predicated on him being a creepy creeper, possibly arising from the rape accusations. I’ve been weirded out by the guy since ( the accusations, not the game, although in retrospect it was creepy too.. The object of the game was, as bill Cosby, kill the dad from Family Matters, Kimmie Gibbler from Full House and another 80s Tv character I can’t remember. You were supposed to lure them with jello pudding pops and blind them with the flash from your Kodak camera.

    But yeah, I seem to recall this creepy game being made around the time that it was coming out that he was a creeper and rapist.

  21. Ens
    Ens February 6, 2014 at 10:11 pm |

    I knew about this, but I’m almost positive that I heard about it from the feministe comment section years ago. I guess not many people read that comment.

    It’s so fucked up, I mentioned it to my sister (who loves the Cosby show) and she literally yelled and covered her ears so she wouldn’t have to hear it. She would have been in her mid-30s at the time, so this isn’t a child’s behaviour. Then some months later when TV happened to have some discussion of rape culture and she expressed disbelief that people ever cover up and ignore these things, I brought up Cosby and actually had to duck a slap.

    I don’t bring it up with her anymore because fuck that, but also at the back of my mind, that’s exactly how these things happen.

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