Over the past week, more and more women have come forward with allegations of rape and sexual assault against the once-beloved comedian. Now, a former television studio employee has said he helped provide payments to women with whom Cosby was allegedly sexually involved.
Barbara Bowman came forward recently with allegations of assault at the hands of Cosby when she was a teenager. Andrea Constand, a former Temple University director of basketball operations, has made similar claims, that Cosby drugged and molested her. The number of women claiming Cosby abused them now stands at 18. Many of those women claim a similar experience, of being drugged, waking up with a hazy recollection, and signs of sexual assault.
A former NBC employee has now come forward to say that he helped to hide Cosby's sex scandals from the public. Frank Scotti, now 90-years-old, was a facilities manager in Brooklyn for the studio where The Cosby Show was shot. Scotti said that he had arranged monthly payments for more than eight women. He said he arranged the payments, as much as $2,000 at a time, from 1984 until 1992. Scotti says Bill Cosby asked him to put his own name down on the money order payments. In exchange, Cosby paid him in cash. "It was a coverup. I realized it later," said Scotti.
While the allegations involve rape or sexual assault taking place as early as the 1960s, the statute of limitations for these charges may depend the facts involved, and in which state the assaults occurred. He has never been criminally charged in any of the alleged assaults.
Allegations of assault stretch back to 1965. Carla Ferrigno, wife of Lou Ferrigno, claims Cosby ended up alone with her, pulled her close, and kissed her roughly while she tried to push him away. In 1969, a woman who was a 19-year-old comedy writer at the time, claims that Cosby raped her after she was invited to help write material for The Bill Cosby Show. Constand's alleged assault occurred in 2004. She filed a lawsuit, which was later settled out of court.
Some supporters are standing behind the 77-year-old comedian, but his legacy appears to have suffered permanent damage. Cosby has continued his comedy tour, meanwhile comedy shows in South Carolina and Washington State have been canceled. A Cosby performance at Comix Comedy at Foxwoods scheduled for January 31, 2015, has been postponed indefinitely.
Cosby's lawyer has released a statement calling the allegations "ridiculous." In a statement posted on Cosby's website, his attorney John P. Schmitt said, "over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced," he continued, "Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment." When asked about the allegations on National Public Radio, he responded only with silence. In the meantime, the damage seems to have been done.
Since no criminal charges have been filed against the comedian, he faces only the court of public opinion. The public seems to be coming out strongly against Cosby. An appearance on David Letterman's show was cancelled. A new comedy series in development with NBC and Sony Pictures TV has been shelved. A Netflix special "Bill Cosby 77" set for release on Thanksgiving has also been cancelled. TV Land has cancelled "Cosby Show" reruns.