Netflix shelves Cosby special amid rape claims
A PLANNED Bill Cosby special on Netflix has been postponed, the video-streaming service said late on Tuesday, amid mounting claims that the American entertainer assaulted a string of women over the years.
The stand-up performance by the 77-year-old comedian had been scheduled to go live next Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday.
"At this time, we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special Bill Cosby 77," Netflix said.
On the day of the service's announcement, supermodel Janice Dickinson became the latest woman to point the finger at the former star of the self-titled Cosby Show in the 1980s and 1990s.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dickinson, 59, alleged that Cosby had drugged and raped her in 1982, reported The Independent.
This comes after Joan Tarshis came forward on Sunday, when she revealed an alleged incident in 1969 on the entertainment website Hollywood Elsewhere.
Barbara Bowman published a Washington Post op-ed last week, reiterating past accusations that Cosby raped her when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress.
"My client says that he is in agreement with Netflix," David Brokaw, a spokesman for Cosby, said in an e-mail message. However, he did not immediately respond to a follow-up request for comment about Dickinson's allegations.
Cosby, who broke racial barriers with TV's I Spy in the 1960s and The Cosby Show, declined to comment when asked about the allegations in an interview with NPR that aired on Saturday. He has not been charged with a crime involving the allegations.
He cancelled a guest appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman. A guest spot on The Queen Latifah Show was also postponed at the comedian's request, NBC News reported.
People magazine said the Netflix special was supposed to be a birthday celebration for Cosby, in which he would share stories from his childhood, first romantic relationships and parenthood.
The actor has been at the centre of a storm since comedian Hannibal Buress branded him a "rapist" during a stand-up show in Philadelphia last month.
A total of 13 women who made similar accusations against Cosby have offered to testify against him, according to United States reports.
It is not certain if they are the same ones as in a 2005 civil lawsuit which was settled. In that case, Andrea Constand named one other witness to prior alleged sexual assaults, and nine so-called Jane Does, whose names were confidential.