, once the personification of family values as affable-yet-stern dad Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show
, is once again facing allegations that he sexually assaulted
ET spoke with one of his accusers, as well as the NPR host who asked the comedian point blank about the allegations last weekend.
Former publicist Joan Tarshis is the latest woman to come forward with allegations against Cosby, claiming that he assaulted her on two occasions in 1969. She explained to ET's Kevin Frazier why she stayed silent for so long.
"I want to talk about this now and I want to really support the other women who have gone through this," she told Kevin, explaining, "Now with people coming out..., it's being handled differently."
Another of Cosby's accusers, Barbara Bowman, wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post
earlier this month detailing the alleged assault she says she fell victim to in 1985 when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress.
Bowman said that she was one of the alleged victims asked to testify when a woman named Andrea Constand filed a suit against Cosby in 2004. The case was eventually settled out of court.
Bill Cosby's lawyer, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement today about Cosby's sexual assault allegations:
"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."
A renewed interest in the allegations began when comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a "rapist" during an October comedy show in Philadelphia.
"It's even worse because Bill Cosby has the f**king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. He gets on TV, 'Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the 80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.' Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches," Buress said in his set. "'I don't curse onstage.' Well, yeah, you're a rapist."
Later a push by Cosby's social team backfired when they asked fans to meme the comedian. Their request led to numerous memes focused on the assault allegations.
Last week, Cosby refused to discuss the assault allegations, staying silent when asked about them during a sit-down on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Simon described to CNN what happened during the dead air, saying, "[Cosby] gave what I would refer to as that delightful, impish little kind of Cosby smile, at first, and then was silent."
"He had a calculated, deliberate reaction," Simon told ET. "He went like that and stayed silent."
"These are very ugly charges," Simon continued. "I think they rise to the level of public interest. They're not just personal matters and, yes, I had to ask the question."