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More Venues Cancel Bill Cosby Shows Amid Rape Accusations

Women have been speaking out one by one to claim the comedian gave them pills that made them feel groggy and then sexually forced himself onto them.

Venues in Washington state and South Carolina are the latest to drop Bill Cosby from their schedules in the wake of more claims that he sexually assaulted women in past decades.

The Broadway Center in Tacoma cancelled Cosby’s April 15 stop as part of his Cosby 77 tour, while the Florence Civic Center "indefinitely postponed" his show — entitled "Far from Finished" — for Feb. 20. At least seven shows across six states — including one scheduled in Las Vegas next week — have been scrapped.

"This decision is not intended to pass judgment on Mr. Cosby — that is not the business of the Broadway Center," David Fischer, the Broadway Center's executive director, said in a statement. "In making this decision, the Broadway Center also took into consideration the financial harm we will suffer by cancelling, and the even greater financial risk of moving forward with the performance," Fischer added. Both venues in Washington and South Carolina are allowing those who have bought tickets to Cosby’s shows to request an exchange or refund.

Women have been speaking out publicly in recent weeks to claim that Cosby — as far back as the 1970s — gave them pills that made them feel groggy before he forced himself on them sexually. Actress Angela Leslie, 52, the latest woman to come forward, said on TODAY that Cosby assaulted her, but she was able to push him off of her and was never "physically hurt." The allegations resurfaced a scandal from 2005 in which Andrea Constand, a staffer with the basketball team at Temple University, sued the comedian for allegedly giving her pills and touching her inappropriately. Cosby settled the case, and has never been charged with any crime.

Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, said the allegations “have escalated far past the point of absurdity.” In a statement, he added, it is “completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”

While several appearances and projects associated with Cosby have been cancelled or postponed, the funnyman received a standing ovation Friday night during a sold-out performance in Melbourne, Florida.



— Elisha Fieldstadt