, LOS ANGELES, United States, Nov 20 – The US network NBC pulled the plug Wednesday on a new Bill Cosby sitcom following a similar move by Netflix, piling pressure on the veteran comic over growing sex assault claims.
The double setback came after a lawyer for the 77-year-old Cosby dismissed the claims of a string of attacks made by several women as “old, discredited allegations.”
“We can confirm that the Cosby project is no longer in development,” NBC said in a statement, declining any further comment on the accusations dogging the award-winning entertainer.
That came 12 hours after streaming video service Netflix said it was postponing the launch of a new stand-up comedy special, to be called “Bill Cosby 77.”
People magazine said the Netflix special was supposed to be a birthday celebration for Cosby, in which he would share stories from his childhood, first romantic relationships and parenthood.
But the allegations of rape and sexual abuse made against him by several women in recent weeks are tarnishing the public image of the urbane actor, famous for his long TV career – especially his role as a doting father on the popular “Cosby Show” in the 1980s and 1990s.
Former model Janice Dickinson, now 59, on Tuesday added her claims to the list, telling Entertainment Tonight that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982. READ: Cosby lawyer slams ‘old, discredited’ sex abuse allegations.
Dickinson said it happened after a dinner they shared in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where she said she had gone to talk about a job offer from Cosby. At the dinner she said she had red wine and a pill Cosby gave her because she had menstrual and stomach pains.
“The next morning I woke up, and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas, and I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” Dickinson said.
In all some 13 women have made similar allegations against him, including Joan Tarshis, who claimed she was drugged and raped by Cosby in 1969.
“I didn’t go to the police because I was 19 years old. I was scared and I thought nobody would believe me… He was Mister America,” Tarshis told CNN on Wednesday.