WILSHIRE (CBSLA.com) — Famed comedian Bill Cosby is experiencing more fallout from decades-old rape allegations just two weeks after he declined to comment during an interview with the Associated Press.
The AP on Wednesday released footage from the Nov. 6 interview in which Cosby, with his wife by his side, declined to answer questions about the growing number of women who claimed he drugged and raped them. He had also asked that his comments not be shown.
Since then, at least 15 women have now come forward with allegations, including former model Janice Dickinson, who claims he raped her in 1982.
“Whether the allegations are true or not, it’s completely tarnished his reputation,” said Michael O’Connell, a senior television writer for the Hollywood Reporter.
TV Land has dropped airing reruns of “The Cosby Show”; Netflix has postponed his comedy special; and NBC scrapped a show that was in the works.
The 77-year-old Cosby has never been criminally charged. However, in 2006, he settled a civil suit with another woman, the AP reported.
O’Connell says Cosby was essentially a coveted brand. However, the Internet and social media have made it increasingly more difficult for accusations to be brushed under the rug as compared to 30 years ago.
“These things were always quietly handled if it were the case with him or with anyone else,” O’Connell said. “When the slightest leak comes out, it sorta bubbles up online, it catches fire and then it’s just impossible to squash it.”
As for whether Cosby could face any criminal charges or civil claims, KCAL9 Legal Analyst Steve Meister says there is normally a six to nine year statute of limitations for rape depending on the state.
“I think all of the statutes of limitations in all of these cases will have expired long ago and you can’t revive a dead statute of limitations,” Meister said.
Meantime, Cosby’s attorneys called Dickinson’s claims a defamatory fabrication and said that other allegations have been discredited.