A Tarnished Father Figure
by Christopher Rivera
Bill Cosby has come a long way from being an international spy on I Spy, peddling pudding pops, being the lovable fictional father, Cliff Huxtable, on the Cosby show, and being voice of reason for black youth, who tells them to pull their pants up. The idea of a lovable father figure that people have grown to admire has come to a screeching halt after a video of comedian Hannibal Buress went viral, while he was doing a standup routine in Philadelphia in 2014. During his set Hannibal Buress repeatedly calls Bill Cosby a rapist:
Thirteen? And it’s even worse because Bill Cosby has the fucking smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. 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 raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches. I don’t curse on stage. Well, yeah, you’re a rapist, so, I’ll take you sayin’ lots of motherfuckers on Bill Cosby: Himself if you weren’t a rapist. …I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns. …I’ve done this bit on stage, and people don’t believe. People think I’m making it up. …That shit is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it, trust me. You leave here and Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That shit has more results than Hannibal Buress.
It wasn’t long after Hannibal Buress’ video went viral that decade old accusations resurfaced. These accusations included women being drugged, sexually assaulted, and raped. The victims often felt that they couldn’t speak out because of fear that no one would believe them.
One of the alleged victims was Linda Traitz who worked at Café Figaro, which was co-owned by Bill Cosby. Linda Traitz was assaulted by Bill Cosby after he offered her a ride home, but instead suggested they go to the beach. It was while they were parked at the beach that he opened up his suitcase and “He offered me pills and said it would help me to relax, and I kept refusing but he kept offering.”
He then lunged at her and began groping her inappropriately. She managed to escape the vehicle and run down the beach, tearing her skirt as she fell in the sand. Cosby was still in pursuit and he offered her a ride back home. Traitz told her co-workers and family of the incident, but she didn’t tell the police. Her brother, Jim Traitz, in an interview with Washington Post spoke about why she didn’t go to the police, he said, “It was a different time. We all also knew this was a really big guy with a big PR operation and lawyers, and that he could crush us — that he would crush us — and her.”
Now more than 40 women have come out and accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. These accusations span from 1965, when Cosby was in I Spy, to the mid 2000s.
Bill Cosby only response to the allegations is when he told Florida Today, “People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”
In the 2005 deposition Cosby did answer yes to getting Quaaludes, a type of sedative, for the purpose that he was going to use them on young women he wanted to have sex with, as was reported by the Business Insider.
Although, many of the cases fall outside the statutes of limitations, Cosby does face a defamation lawsuit from a group of alleged victims. One defamation lawsuit that is currently active against Cosby is filed by former attorney Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz.
On December 30, 2015 Bill Cosby was charged with aggravated sexual assault in Pennsylvania for an incident that occurred in 2004.