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Bill Cosby is a case of Dr. Huxtable vs. Mr. Hyde

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

As a matter of fact, one of my favorite sayings is just because somebody says something, doesn’t make it true.

But I also believe where there is smoke there’s fire.

In the case of the decades-old sexual assault allegations against comedian Bill Cosby, it’s hard for me to imagine that all the women who have come forward are falsifying their stories.

At last count, 13 women have testified they were raped by Cosby. Most of them had been drugged. My understanding is that, although criminal charges were never filed against Cosby, the women did come forward at the time of the assault. The problem was that no one believed them.

How could you? It’s Bill Cosby, the wholesome, Jello-eating, father figure who could do no wrong.

Years ago, when the claims came to light, Cosby denied the allegations. He was viewed by the public as one of the most wholesome people in America. Bill Cosby committing rape? It seems inconceivable.

One accuser, Barbara Bowman, claims Cosby assaulted her several times in 1985, when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress. Back in 2006, Cosby did settle a case with another accuser, but the comedian was never criminally charged.

This time around, as the allegations are resurfacing, Cosby has chosen to hide behind his attorney who made a statement that his client was not going to dignify the decades-old allegations with a response.

Really? Why not?

He was asked a direct question about it by an NPR reporter on Saturday, and refused to say a word. Cosby has also canceled numerous public appearances, including one on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

If you’re innocent and you have nothing to hide, then why not address the allegations? You don’t have to continue to comment, but speaking directly to the public at this time would be helpful.

I don’t want to believe it’s true. I want to believe that Cosby is the man I want him to be and innocent of these horrific claims. But in my heart I have questions and doubt.

I don’t know whether he’s guilty or innocent, but I do know that I will never quite look at him the same way again.

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