Bill Cosby, the subject of more than a dozen sex abuse allegations over the past three months, will go ahead with three Canadian shows this week, coming as more women leveled accusations against the comedian.
Protesters geared up to heckle Cosby and some fans tried to offload their tickets for the three performances in Ontario beginning on Wednesday.
Cosby, best-known as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, has had two television projects shelved and several standup performances canceled since the allegations started last year.
He is slated to perform shows three cities in Ontario – Kitchener, London and Hamilton – this week.
Demonstrations are planned outside each venue by supporters of sexual abuse survivors. Some people were trying to sell their tickets on social media while others donated them to sexual assault support groups.
Cosby, 77, has never been charged over the allegations, which date as far back as the 1960s. He settled a 2005 civil suit that alleged sexual misconduct.
“We knew him as the warm Dr. Huxtable but the allegations paint a different picture and we can’t really support that,” said Wendy Carmichael, 62, who lost C$300 re-selling her four tickets to Wednesday’s show.
Event promoter Innovation Arts & Entertainment said the venues are contractually obliged to hold the shows, but acknowledged it was an “unpopular” decision and urged protesters not to direct their vitriol at the venues or staff.
In Los Angeles, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, known for her aggressive support of women who claim to be victims of abuse or harassment, held a news conference with three women who allege Cosby drugged them and was sexually aggressive toward them.
One of the women, Lynn Neal, alleges Cosby raped her in his dressing room at the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas where he was performing.
“I was in shock as I had no idea that he would do this to me,” Neal said. “I looked at him as a big brother or fatherly figure that I admired.”
Megan Walker, executive director of the London, Ontario-based Abused Women’s Centre, said she expects several hundred protesters outside Thursday’s show in London.
Cosby’s publicist and attorney did not respond to requests seeking comment.
Cosby Show co-star Phylicia Rashad defended Cosby on Tuesday, telling website Showbiz 411 to “forget these women.”
“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated,” she said.
(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Eric Kelsey; Additional reporting by Reuters TV in Los Angeles; Editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler)
A Biden win will likely strip Mitch McConnell of all his power: CNN
According to CNN polling analyst Harry Enten, should Joe Biden win the election on Nov. 3rd it will likely be part of a Democratic tidal wave that will also flip to the Senate to Democratic control -- and strip current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of his power.
Citing polls in which GOP incumbents are tied or trailing their Democratic opponents, Enten noted that Biden holds leads in those states and his popularity could sweep the down-ticket Democrats into the office too, handing Democrats control of the Senate to go along with the House where they are expected to remain in control.
Trump defender buried on CNN for defending GOP push to seize Supreme Court seat
On CNN Saturday, Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman tore into GOP counterpart Alice Stewart for defending the GOP's Supreme Court power grab.
"I think it's important that [Republicans] proceed without delay on this," said Stewart. "They have the constitutional obligation to do so. And the Senate and in this administration. They also have historical precedent, given the timeline, this can be done. Many have been done in a much shorter time frame, as well as voters voted Republicans to control the Senate."
"I have to ask Alice, where was that constitutional obligation when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland?" said Zimmerman. "Of course the Republicans said it would be inappropriate, it was too close to a presidential election. Let's understand ... she is being chosen by Donald Trump and Mike Pence because they want to fill that Supreme Court, because they're going to be election challenges coming up and they want to make sure they have a vote that's going to rig the court in their favor."
Will pollsters let us down in 2020?
If the polls are to be believed, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is the favorite to win the 2020 election against his Republican opponent, President Donald Trump. At the time of this writing, FiveThirtyEight.com, which aggregates and analyzes polls, gives him a 76 percent chance of winning; all eleven of the most recent polls listed at RealClearPolitics predict a Biden victory with an average spread of almost six points.This article first appeared in Salon.