After appearances by Bill Cosby were reportedly canceled on the “Late Show With David Letterman” next Wednesday and on “The Queen Latifah Show” Oct. 30, an interview with the actor-comedian has surfaced in which he is questioned about allegations of rape.
The interview on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” for Nov. 15 has Cosby discussing his loan of 62 pieces of art to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington. “Weekend Edition” host Scott Simon then asked Cosby about the rape allegations and was met with silence.
Allegations of multiple sexual assaults by Cosby increased recently after comedian Hannibal Buress called him a rapist during a standup comedy routine in Philadelphia last month. A video of the appearance went viral, casting a shadow on the 77-year-old actor-comedian’s legacy.
One of Cosby’s alleged victims, Barbara Bowman, who in 1985 was a 17-year-old aspiring actress, wrote a column in the Washington Post Thursday in which she details her accusation that he "brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times." Her claim follows a 2006 legal settlement stemming from a lawsuit filed by another woman, Andrea Constand. Cosby was not charged in either case. Cosby and his wife Camille, who was present during the interview, declined to discuss the accusations. Below is a partial transcript of the NPR interview:
SCOTT SIMON: “This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.”
BILL COSBY: [SILENCE]
SIMON: “You’re shaking your head no. I’m in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?”
SIMON: “Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance.”
SIMON: “All right. Camille and Bill Cosby. They have lent 62 pieces from their collection of African and African-American art to create an exhibit called ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue.’ It’s now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art through early 2016. Thank you both.”