NBC, Netflix cancel Bill Cosby projects; Janice Dickinson says comedian assaulted her
NBC says it has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development, the second outlet within a day to put off or abandon a Cosby project as another sexual assault allegation against the comic has emerged, this time by model and TV host Janice Dickinson.
NBC rep Rebecca Marks said Wednesday the project “is no longer under development,” and had no further comment.
Also on Wednesday, the network TV Land announced it was no longer airing reruns of “The Cosby Show.”
The announcements came after Netflix announced late Tuesday that it was postponing the Nov. 27 premiere of a new Cosby standup comedy special.
Dickinson became the third woman in recent weeks to allege she’d been assaulted by Cosby when she told “Entertainment Tonight” Tuesday that she was sexually assaulted by the comic in 1982 in Lake Tahoe, California, where he was appearing.
She told the TV newsmagazine that she wrote about the assault in her 2002 autobiography, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel,” but that Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the details.
Cosby’s lawyer Martin Singer told The Wrap that Dickinson’s claim was an “outrageous defamatory lie.”
“Neither Mr. Cosby or any of his attorneys were ever told by Harper Collins that Ms. Dickinson had supposedly planned to write that he had sexually assaulted her, and neither Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives ever communication [sic] with the publisher about any alleged rape or sexual assault about the book,” Singer said.
In the interview, Dickinson said she met Cosby in Lake Tahoe at his urging after he said that he would help her with her singing career. They had met earlier when her agent had introduced them, hoping that she could get a job on “The Cosby Show.”
Dickinson said that after dinner, she and Cosby were in her hotel room and that he gave her some red wine and a pill. She told “Entertainment Tonight” she had asked for a pill because she had been suffering stomach pains.
“The next morning I woke up and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas and I remembered before I passed out I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she said. She said she remembered Cosby dropping the robe he had been wearing and getting on top of her.
She said she never confronted Cosby about the incident.
Cosby, 77, who was never criminally charged in any case, settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident two years before.
Attention to the legendary entertainer’s past flared suddenly in recent weeks after another comic, Hannibal Buress, called Cosby a “rapist” during a Philadelphia performance. Two other women have emerged as accusers, including Barbara Bowman, who wrote an online Washington Post piece.
Another Cosby attorney, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement Sunday saying his client would not dignify “decade-old, discredited” claims of sexual abuse with a response. Schmitt later exempted the 2006 civil case from the blanket statement.
TMZ reported that Cosby was still set to perform shows at venues in the Bahamas, Florida and Las Vegas in the next few days. Several of the shows are sold-out.