In her first public comments since an avalanche of negative stories about her husband began, Camille Cosby criticized the media for publishing rape allegations against Bill Cosby without “vetting” his accusers — and she compared the news coverage of those allegations to Rolling Stone’s explosive story about campus rape.
Rolling Stone’s story about campus rape at U-Va. sparked widespread rage and calls for action by the school’s administrators. But reporting by The Washington Post cast new doubt on the narrative of a brutal gang rape, and Rolling Stone has since apologized for the story, which it is now re-reporting.
Camille Cosby also said the media has “given a pass” to those accusing her husband of rape and other forms of sexual assault.
The Washington Post reported on the allegations last month in a front-page story, less than two weeks after publishing this first-person essay by Barbara Bowman: “Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?”
Here is Camille Cosby’s full statement:
I met my husband, Bill Cosby, in 1963, and we were married in 1964. The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know. It is also a portrait painted by individuals and organizations whom many in the media have given a pass. There appears to be no vetting of my husband’s accusers before stories are published or aired. An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral.We all followed the story of the article in the “Rolling Stone” concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. The story was heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband – until that story unwound.None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked – who is the victim?
Atlanta’s Spelman College on Sunday suspended an academic chair named after the Cosbys in honor of their $20 million endowment — the single largest donation to a historically black college.
Bill Cosby was asked over the weekend how his wife of 50 years was handling the wave of allegations, which have led to projects being canceled and numerous institutions distancing themselves from the comedian. Cosby told the New York Post: “Love and the strength of womanhood. Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”