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Cosby defends his silence

KEEPING MUM: Cosby, seen here at a performance on Friday, says "people should fact-check. People...shouldn't answer to innuendos".


    Nov 24, 2014

    Cosby defends his silence


    COMEDIAN Bill Cosby has spoken out against a wave of sexual-assault allegations, but told a Florida publication that he does not have to "answer to innuendos".

    Cosby, 77, spoke to the newspaper Florida Today on Friday, before performing his comedy routine at a theatre in Melbourne, Florida.

    The comedian has refused to address questions about allegations made by a number of women who said he had forced himself on them sexually, with some accusing him of drugging them first.

    "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos," Cosby told Florida Today, which serves readers in Melbourne and surrounding areas.

    "People should fact-check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos," he told the newspaper in a story posted on its website late on Friday.

    Cosby received a standing ovation at the start of his 90-minute show in Melbourne, which concluded without incident and without the comedian discussing the allegations.

    A host at Orlando-based Real Radio 104.1 had asked people attending the show to ask Cosby about the allegations and film his response, and the station offered cash and prizes for the best footage. But no one in the audience made such a move to confront Cosby.

    He told Florida Today that such offers to members of his audience risked creating a "frat-house mentality".

    "Now, suppose someone brings a weapon or decided to do more foolishness," he said. "There will be announcements made and the stations made some disclaimers, but what if people don't listen to what they said and they entice violence?"

    The comedian has never been charged and his lawyers have said the assault claims were discredited and defamatory.

    Cosby's Las Vegas performance this week, and four other shows in Arizona, Illinois, South Carolina and Washington state next year have been cancelled. With NBC and Netflix also having dropped projects with the comedian last week, the allegations have threatened his wholesome public image and future viability in show business.