The photo and accompanying story arrive after the release earlier this month of a long-sealed deposition from a 2005 lawsuit against him, in which Cosby admitted to giving Quaaludes to women and then having sex with them. He claims all such encounters were consensual.
But 46 women claim to be sexual victims of Cosby over the past five or so decades.
The conflicting claims, obviously, don’t add up. It’s hard to imagine 46 women, however, coming forward with false allegations against one man.
And it does make you wonder how many facilitators Cosby had over the years in the entertainment world: studios, networks, agents in various capacities. People who basically knew what was going on and essentially helped him pull it off.
Cosby has been a star for 50 years. (Remember “I Spy,” which ran from 1965-1968?) “The Cosby Show” generated billions in revenue: advertising, production fees, syndication rights. That’s a lot of motivation for certain business enterprises to rationalize providing Cosby with a helping hand. Hollywood has never been terribly innocent in that regard.
Human tragedies aside, there’s also the question how devalued "The Cosby Show" has now become as a TV property. Sure it had a long syndication run. But TV Land killed it a while ago, probably guaranteeing that the program won’t have the legs of shows like "M*A*S*H" and "I Love Lucy."
I wonder if the latest round of revelations will prompt Netflix or Amazon to pull "Cosby Show" DVDs from its menu? Not so far. As of this writing they’re still for sale on both.
I also wonder if the producers of the program, or its other stars like Phylicia Rashad and the kids, may have a case against Cosby for devaluing an asset they helped create, and which presumably continues to pay cast members royalties with every airing. Time will tell.
To what extent Cosby’s insurance policies help him in current and potential litigation appears up in the air. Late last month AIG asked a Los Angeles court to rule that it’s not liable for certain claims being made against Cosby in a suit by Dickinson that was filed in May due to exclusions in the policies he bought from the company that cover sexual misconduct and related activity.
For Cosby, that could spell a big cost for a lifetime of (alleged) bad behavior.