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Sunday, 16 November 2014


Comedian Bill Cosby is coming under increasing pressure over allegations of rape.

Suggestions the 77-year-old former star of The Cosby Show might have been guilty of sexually assaulting a number of women in the past have long swirled in the background, but a number of factors have now conspired to bring the allegations to the forefront of public debate.

A month ago a fellow (though far less well-known) stand-up, Hannibal Buress, caused something of a furore with a routine accusing Cosby of rape.

The video of his performance was circulated widely on the web.

Cosby then inadvertently contributed to his own woes by suggesting on Twitter that people might think up their own "Cosby meme".

The memes that followed, associating the comic with rape, (as an example, one said: "I've been accused of rape by 13 different women"), were not what he had in mind.

The extent to which the Twitter stunt had backfired became clear as the spotlight fell on allegations that, though on record, had never been examined in detail by the media.

In an article in the Washington Post, Barbara Bowman, who accused Cosby of drugging and raping her in 1985, wrote how she was "grateful for the new attention to Cosby's crimes".

However she suggested the fact she has been openly telling her story for 10 years without the story taking hold shows others have been complicit.

Arguing that the entertainment industry is "rife" with men who victimise young women, she wrote: "Even when... victims speak out the industry and the public turn blind eyes; these men's celebrity, careers and public adulation continue to thrive."

Cosby denied other allegations of sexual assault in the past by Andrea Constant, but has chosen not to address further allegations.

Cosby has not responded to attempts by Sky News to contact him over the claims. Yahoo

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