Monday, January 4, 2016 at 7:01 AM

Crappy New Year to Bill and Camille Cosby!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby received bad tidings of arrest and woe this Christmas season. They arose from a confidential agreement he struck in 2006 to settle a sexual-battery lawsuit.

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Here, in part, is how I commented on that settlement back then – in “Bill Cosby Pays Off Woman Who Accused Him of Rape,” November 23, 2006.

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Andrea Constand (32) regarded him as a mentor. She claims Cosby (69) drugged and raped her. Unsurprisingly, instead of allowing her to spill details in open court, he settled her lawsuit on Wednesday … for an amount sufficient enough to buy her silence.

Meanwhile, Cosby’s legal woes have not caused him to retreat from his self-appointed role as the conscience of Black America. In this respect, he acts more like Cliff Huxtable in real life than he did on The Cosby Show.

Perhaps you’ve heard him lecturing about how the lack of individual responsibility, more than “systemic racism,” is the root cause of crime, poor education, and high unemployment in Black America. For this I commend him wholeheartedly!

But this Cosby case serves as a shocking reminder that the best of us are often as flawed as the worst of us…

More to the point, though, if Cosby thought settling this lawsuit would keep the lid on his past sexual predations, he was/is sadly mistaken.

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Sure enough, other accusers began coming out of the woodwork. They numbered twenty last summer. That’s when the Associated Press asked Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to unseal that 2006 agreement … in the public interest.

Cosby’s lawyers pleaded with him not to, arguing that it would be “terribly embarrassing.” Judge Robreno rejected their plea, justifying his order to unseal it as follows:

The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct, is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest…

The defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soapbox to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime.

(Washington Post, July 7, 2015)

I commented on Robreno’s order in “Bill Cosby Caught Testifying about His M.O. as a Sexual Predator,” July 8, 2015. But this was only the latest in a series of commentaries I’ve written over the years, notably “Ten more Women Accuse Bill Cosby of…Rape,” April 23, 2005, “Bill Cosby, Serial Rapist,” October 22, 2014, and “Bill Cosby’s (all too Belated) Fall From Grace,” November 18, 2014, which includes this damning observation:

Bear in mind that, if 20 women come out with credible stories, they probably represent less than 10 percent of women who have equally credible stories, but are still too embarrassed (or too sensible) to enter this Cosby maelstrom.

deb6s5hsi6wxrgwn1wncIn truth, ever since he allowed himself to be deposed before settling that 2006 lawsuit, Cosby has been a jailbird walking. His accusers numbered more than fifty last week. That’s when a Philadelphia prosecutor finally issued a warrant for his arrest:

For years, as Bill Cosby and his lawyers aggressively rebutted accusations that he was a sexual predator, his defenders could point to one incontrovertible fact: He had never been charged with a crime.

Now that has changed, with the announcement Wednesday by a Pennsylvania prosecutor that he was charging Mr. Cosby with aggravated indecent assault.

(New York Times, December 31, 2015)

Reports are that his arrest on criminal charges finally proved too humiliating for his wife, Camille. For many reasons, her reaction might be the most interesting aspect of this latest development:

‘My husband doesn’t deserve jail, but he does deserve every bit of the hell he’s going through now even though he is still pretending that this hell doesn’t exist,’ the anguished Camille confided, according to a close family source…

The source, who’s been close to the family for more than two decades, said the infidelities of ‘America’s Dad’ were well-known to Mrs. Cosby, 71, who simply insisted that her husband be discreet and not shame her.

(New York Post, January 3, 2016)

qsxck5uasshj0bxrl7wz-300x171In fact, he’s facing ten years in prison, and he deserves every bit of that time. As for her, it’s probably more accurate to report that Camille simply insisted that her husband be discreet, not shame her, and keep her living in the lifestyle of the rich and famous to which she had become accustomed. This is why I questioned her motives years ago as follows:

I gave up some time ago trying to reason why purportedly liberated women, like Camille Cosby and Hillary Clinton, stand by men who humiliate them.

The ardent feminist in me would like to think this simply reflects their evolved understanding that marriage is about a lot more than (sexual) monogamy. But it may be that they are riding so high on the power trip these marriages afford them, they couldn’t care any less how much their husbands betray traditional notions of fidelity (or legality?).

(“The Hypocrisy of Eliot ‘Ness’ Spitzer’s Assignation with a Prostitute,” The iPINIONS Journal, March 11, 2008)

Frankly, it speaks volumes about her character that Camille had no problem with dozens of women accusing her husband of rape, so long as their accusations did not bring shame upon her. Well, even sister enabler Hillary did not have to endure the public shame that awaits her this week:

In the same week that comedian Bill Cosby was arrested on sexual assault charges, his wife, Camille Cosby, learned she must testify in a civil case against the entertainer filed by seven women who said he defamed them, court documents said.

A federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts on Thursday rejected arguments by Cosby’s wife of almost 52 years, who also has been his business manager, that the deposition would represent an ‘undue burden.’

The deposition is scheduled for next Wednesday, a week after Bill Cosby, 78, was charged in Pennsylvania in the only criminal case brought against the actor, who has been accused by more than 50 women of sexually abusing them in incidents dating back decades.

(Reuters, January 2, 2016)

I pity them that it has come to this: Bill and Camille Cosby ringing in the New Year arrested and charged as a rapist, shamed and summoned as an accomplice, respectively.

But nothing betrays how far Cosby has fallen — from his soapbox as “America’s Dad” — quite like Hollywood, universities, and corporations cutting ties with him … as if he were now “Public Enemy No. 1.”

Related commentaries:
Cosby pays off woman
Cosby caught

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