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In NPR Interview, Bill Cosby Declines To Discuss Assault Allegations

Updated on Monday, Nov. 17, at 4:40 p.m. ET.

In an NPR interview with Bill Cosby that aired today on Weekend Edition Saturday, the comedian discusses the loan of 62 pieces of African Art for an exhibition in Washington, D.C.

But there's one thing the 77-year-old actor would not comment on: accusations of sexual assault that have been leveled against him.

Those allegations resurfaced in recent weeks. In a column published Friday in The Washington Post, Barbara Bowman, who in 1985 was a 17-year-old aspiring actress on the Cosby Show, says the comic actor "brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times."

Bowman says Cosby drugged her and then raped her. Her claim follows a 2006 legal settlement stemming from a lawsuit filed by another woman, Andrea Constand. The comedian was never charged.

Cosby and his wife Camille, in an interview recorded last week with NPR, declined to discuss the accusations. Here's a partial transcript of the interview with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon:

SCOTT SIMON: "This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days."


SIMON: "You're shaking your head no. I'm in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?"


SIMON: "Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance."


SIMON: "Alright. Camille and Bill Cosby. They have lent 62 pieces from their collection of African and African-American art to create an exhibit called Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue. It's now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art through early 2016. Thank you both."

The Associated Press reports that amid the latest allegations, Cosby abruptly cancelled a scheduled appearance on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman and earlier postponed an Oct. 30 booking on The Queen Latifah Show.

The cancellations follow a standup routine in Philadelphia last month by comic Hannibal Buress, who called Cosby a rapist. The routine was captured on video and has received wide exposure online.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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