Bill Cosby Asks Reporter to Edit Out His Response to Rape Allegations

by Jackie Willis 1:50 PM PST, November 20, 2014
Playing Bill Cosby Asks Reporter to Edit Out His Response to Rape Allegations

The Associated Press released a Bill Cosby interview conducted on Nov. 6 in Washington D.C. where reporter Brett Zongker asks him about "long circulated" rape allegations and recent criticism from comedian Hannibal Buress in his stand-up routine. Unlike his NPR Weekend Edition interview where he remained silent and shook his head when asked about the claims, Cosby does respond to the question.

"I have to ask about your name coming up in the news recently regarding this comedian," says Zongker. "I just wanted to ask if you wanted to respond at all as to whether any of that is true." 

"There's no response," the 77-year-old Cosby Show star says in the footage released on Wednesday. "There is no comment about that. And I'll tell you why, I don't want to compromise your integrity, but I don't talk about it."

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Today, Zongker spoke to ET about the exchange.

"It was a little nerve-wracking to pose this question to him, I'll admit that," Zongker told ET. "We took a look at our interview -- the full tape -- and felt like it was relevant now because the story had evolved so much."

During his show in Philadelphia this past month, Buress called Cosby a "rapist," saying, "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."

In the interview, the entertainer's wife Camille sits by his side as he urges the reporter to edit out his response to the question about longstanding sexual abuse allegations and the reaction to Buress calling Cosby a "rapist" in his act. "I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious that it will not appear anywhere," Cosby tells the reporter.

The reporter tells the comedian that he will speak with his editors. "If you will just tell your bosses the reason why we didn't say that up front was because we thought that AP had the integrity to not ask," he adds.

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The interview was to promote Cosby's collection of African-American art at the Smithsonian. When the AP first released the video earlier this month, they did not include Cosby's comment regarding the allegations against him.

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Model Janice Dickinson sat down with ET's Kevin Frazier this week and alleged that she was raped by Cosby. His attorney, Marty Singer, responded to the claim, saying in a statement, "Janice Dickinson's story accusing Bill Cosby of rape is a lie. There is a glaring contradiction between what she is claiming now for the first time and what she wrote in her own book and what she told the media back in 2002. Ms. Dickinson did an interview with the New York Observer in September 2002 entitled 'Interview With a Vamp' completely contradicting her new story about Mr. Cosby. That interview a dozen years ago said 'she didn't want to go to bed with him and he blew her off.' Her publisher HarperCollins can confirm that no attorney representing Mr. Cosby tried to kill the alleged rape story (since there was no such story) or tried to prevent her from saying whatever she wanted about Bill Cosby in her book. The only story she gave 12 years ago to the media and in her autobiography was that she refused to sleep with Mr. Cosby and he blew her off. Documentary proof and Ms. Dickinson's own words show that her new story about something she now claims happened back in 1982 is a fabricated lie."

Dickinson continues to insist that she's telling the truth.