Support for Bill Cosby continues to plummet since details emerged of his testimony in a sexual-assault suit. Spelman College, a historically black institution for women, said it is discontinuing its endowed professorship named for the 78-year-old comedian in light of the scandal, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Spelman told the AP it has officially parted ways with Cosby. The Atlanta college late last year suspended the program as reports surfaced accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting multiple women.
Cosby and his wife, Camille, donated $20 million to Spelman in 1988. The gift helped fund the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Ed.D. Academic Center, which opened in 1996, and an endowed professorship in both their names.
The program “was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural and creative life,” Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman’s president, said in a December 2014 statement announcing suspension of the program.
“However, the current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully,” she wrote.
In a 2005 deposition released this month, Bill Cosby admitted to giving sedatives to women before sex. The transcripts are from a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee who accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. In total, 39 women have come forward since 2005, accusing the actor and comedian of similar behavior.
Cosby and his lawyer have said the sexual activity and dispensing of Quaaludes was consensual. He has never been charged with a crime.
The accusations put Cosby’s plans for a comeback on indefinite hold. His standup special with Netflix was shelved this summer, and NBC, which had planned a new sitcom with the comedian, also backed away from the project. Earlier this month, Disney said it would remove a bust of the comedian from the Hollywood Studios Hall of Fame Plaza in Florida.
Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple in Philadelphia, where he frequently appeared in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement events.