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January, 2015 Issue

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From the Publisher - The Great Cosby Fiasco

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CAM January 2014 coverIt was a distinct honor for us when Bill Cosby accepted our offer last January to be featured on the cover of our magazine. It was an even greater surprise when he did the interview in person. Obviously Mr. Cosby has a history of being the quintessential family man and an American icon representing such products as Coca Cola and Jello. If Bill Cosby endorsed a product, it had to be good.

Our interview with Cosby was about a year ago and was done during a national stand-up tour that was extremely well attended. He has always had the reputation of a "clean" comic that a multitude of rising comedians over the years have looked up to as he has been endeared by audiences worldwide.

After the news broke in the national press about alleged forced sexual contact with several women coming forward, The Washington Post published an editorial by Barbara Bowman, who indicted Cosby of drugging and raping her on mixed occasions during the mid-1980s when he was mentoring her as a striving actress. During those years, Cosby was starring in "The Cosby Show" as Cliff Huxtable, a loveable family patriarch.

Tour dates in Nevada, Illinois, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington state have been canceled as more women come forward accusing the entertainer of sexually assaulting them years ago.

Cosby has remained silent with his attorney, Martin Singer, refuting the charges.

"This situation is an unprecedented example of the media's breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards," the attorney said.

"Over and over again, we have refuted these new unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork," he added. "When will it end? It is long past time for the media vilification of Mr. Cosby to stop."

Photo of Bill Cosby from The Boston Herald

Singer called it "illogical" for people to come forward 30, 40 and 50 years after an alleged incident having "said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports" to law enforcement officials.

On Friday, a woman told Philadelphia Magazine that while working as a secretary for former Hollywood talent agency, Artists Agency Corp. in 1965, Cosby drugged and attempted to sexually assault her at a party.

"It makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward for the first time now ever asserted a legal claim back at the time," Singer said in response to the claim.

Cosby performed a sold-out show in Melbourne, Florida after two casinos in Las Vegas and Arizona canceled his stand-up shows earlier in the day.

"I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos," Cosby told Florida TODAY before the show. "People should fact check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos."

Netflix, NBC and TV Land recently pulled upcoming Cosby projects amid the legal turmoil facing the 77 year-old humorist.

Read the statement below in full:

"The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.

These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.

Lawsuits are filed against people in the public eye every day. There has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men, so it makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward for the first time now ever asserted a legal claim back at the time they allege they had been sexually assaulted." (Martin Singer)

Probably one of the most concerning things for past supporters of Bill Cosby is that he has not personally made a statement or taken a stand that these were unsubstantiated claims. Obviously in the middle of several decades of Bill Cosby's unprecedented success in the public eye, cases of this sort would have brought huge national attention as well as large financial verdicts had they been easily proven, especially in civil court judgements. While the support of women who were alleging such sexual violations would not have been so prevalent as it might be today, there would have been lawyers crawling all over themselves to represent these women just for the national spotlight (Think O.J. Simpson).

While everyone in the United States has the right to due process and no one is presumed guilty, the national press often can taint the jury pool and public opinion in their effort to "create" news.

I don't know whether Bill Cosby is innocent or guilty of these alleged crimes and thankfully that is not my decision to make. Why has it taken so long for these women to come forward? Is this more fluff than anything else? Your guess is as good as mine. But that is why we have a judicial system and someone else will decide if there is enough evidence to move forward. Regardless, Cosby has had his public reputation permanently tarnished unless his attorney can find some way to permanently resolve these issues. It kind of makes you wonder why no suits have been filed for libel.

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