Newly released video from The Associated Press shows Bill Cosby avoiding questions about sexual assault allegations and asking for the portion of the interview to be “scuttled.”
On Nov. 6, Cosby was discussing an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art that includes some of the comedian’s art collection. The AP was among a handful of news organizations granted interviews with Cosby in connection with the exhibit.
When the AP interviewed Cosby, the story involved the long-circulated accusations from several women and recent criticism from comedian Hannibal Buress. Cosby declined to comment, saying "We don't answer that."
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After his initial refusal to comment — as the interview was winding down but with the camera still running and Cosby wearing a lapel microphone — the comedian asked the AP to not use the brief on-camera refusal to comment he had just made about the allegations. "And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled," he said.
The AP mentioned the allegations and Cosby's decision not to comment at the end of its story, which, like the interview, was primarily about his loan of more than 50 artworks to the Washington museum.
Since then, two women have come forward publicly to accuse him of sexual assault; Netflix, TV Land and NBC cut ties and an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" was canceled. In recent days, as the allegations gained increasing attention, AP went back through the full video of the Nov. 6 interview and decided to publish Cosby's full reaction to questions about the claims.
NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Wednesday that Cosby's sitcom "is no longer under development." A TV Land spokesperson said the shows will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. "The Cosby Show" also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon.
The news came a day after Netflix said it would be postponing the Nov. 27 premiere of Cosby's comedy special.
A sold out comedy show in Melbourne, Florida this Friday will go on as scheduled, Cosby's management told NBC News. Another performance at the Treasure Island in Las Vegas is also still on.
Three women have recently come forward claiming 77-year-old Cosby, a Philadelphia native, sexually assaulted them. The comic has never been charged in a crime.
Actress Janice Dickson said Tuesday that her assault took place in 1982 in Lake Tahoe, California. Cosby's attorney, Marty Singer, said Dickson's accusations were a "complete lie."
A Pennsylvania woman and former Temple University employee came forward in 2005 after an alleged assault took place in Cosby's Elkins Park home the year prior. She told prosecutors that the actor drugged and sexually assaulted her.
The Montgomery County District Attorney investigated the claims, but declined to proceed with the case over a lack of evidence.
Speaking to NBC10 this week, Bruce Castor, the district attorney at the time, said he still believed something inappropriate took place.
"I didn’t say that he didn’t commit the crime,” said Castor. “What I said was there was insufficient, admissible, and reliable evidence upon which to base a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s 'prosecutors speak' for 'I think he did it but there's just not enough here to prosecute.'”
Cosby and the woman settled a civil lawsuit in 2006. The terms were not disclosed. His representatives did not comment on Castor's claims.
"We appreciate that NBC and Netflix have taken these allegations seriously and think that they've made the responsible choice by canceling these shows," said Katherine Hull Fliflet, VP of communications for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
"The coverage of the Bill Cosby story has already led to a significant increase in the number of survivors reaching out for help through the National Sexual Assault Hotline," she said.