Bill Cosby Gets Standing Ovation in Denver After Protests

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bill Cosby Gets Standing Ovation in Denver After Protests.

DENVER — The fight in the court of public opinion between Bill Cosby and more than 25 women who allege he drugged and sexually assaulted them escalated in Denver this weekend, promising to spill out to other cities. DENVER (AP) – Bill Cosby performed to a welcoming Denver audience, despite a protest by some 100 people chanting “Rape is not a joke!” and “No means no!” outside the theater.After a day of protests against the comedian performed two shows Saturday at the Buell Theatre in Denver, before an audience which showed him their full support.DENVER — Embattled comedian Bill Cosby told NBC News that the show must go on as he ignored protests over sexual-assault allegations and took the stage in Colorado Saturday night. As the comedian thanked fans in the Mile High City for attending two performances, saying in a statement, “I’m Far From Finished,” a Los Angeles lawyer representing seven women vowed on Saturday to stage protests outside venues remaining on his 77-show tour. “Cosby will be performing elsewhere and I know it may shock you but you will see me where he is performing,” said Gloria Allred, an attorney who specializes in women’s rights and discrimination cases. “Do these people realize they are helping him make a profit and he can plow the money right back into investigators and attorneys?” The allegations of sexual assault against Cosby, 77, that surfaced last year and date from 1965 to 2008 caused venues in Las Vegas, Washington, New York and Oklahoma to cancel or postpone appearances on a tour that began in November and runs through May.

The first of Cosby’s two performances Saturday came after a woman held an afternoon news conference at a nearby hotel to accuse him of sexually assaulting her in 1986. When Cosby walked out for his 5 p.m. show uttering “Hey, Hey, Hey” – his traditional Fat Albert opening – wearing a grey hoodie with the words “hello friend,” the audience, estimated at 1,800 people in a 2,900-seat auditorium, cheered in response. In a 15 minute phone call with NBC News hours before appearing at Denver’s Buell Theater, the entertainer would not comment specifically on the growing list of accusations from more than 20 women.

Beth Ferrier said during the gathering called by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred that Cosby put drugs in her coffee when she went to see one of his shows in Denver. “I cannot tell you how horrific of a feeling that is,” she said, adding that the next thing she remembered was waking up hours later in the back of her car “practically naked.” Ferrier, 55, has said previously she was assaulted by Cosby. Instead, he waxed enthusiastic about everything from his wife Camille to the perils of parenting and said his special “gift” of comedy must be shared with “the world.” “What you’ll see tonight is history, you’ll get to see me on stage. NBC, which canceled development of a television project with the stand-up comic in November, said Jan. 16 it won’t work with him again because of the allegations. As the performance wrapped up, the audience of mixed ages and genders, stood in a standing ovation, applauding loudly while Cosby, 77, offered a military salute and his thanks. His comments came on the heels of a packed show in Pueblo, Colorado, the night before, which incidentally took place on the 18th anniversary of his son Ennis’ murder during an attempted robbery along the 405 interstate in Los Angeles.

Although about two-dozen protesters rallied outside his performance, it concluded with no interruptions — unlike other recent shows that included outbursts from audience members removed by security guards. Cosby insisted that his son’s spirit helped make the Pueblo performance a resounding success, emphasizing that he’d hoped news of the show “in honor of Ennis” would help, “Camille smile” on an especially difficult day. The controversy intensified on Jan. 14, when the Los Angeles Police Department said it would investigate a claim by Chloe Goins that Cosby assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. The audience showed their support by shouting, “We’re with you,” as Ferrier, a Denver resident, shared her story of the alleged assault that took place in 1986 a few miles from the venue. “This doesn’t get any easier,” Ferrier told PEOPLE about publicly sharing her story. “It’s an important day because Bill Cosby has the chutzpah – the guts – to come to Denver, of all places, to perform and to treat these allegations as a joke,” Allred told the crowd.

All it takes is for one person to say something, then you have all these other people wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame,” he said of Cosby’s accusers. About 25 demonstrators gathered outside, chanting “no means no” and “Colorado believes the women.” But inside the venue, the crowd warmly welcomed Cosby. In response, Goins’ attorney Spencer Kuvin plans to fight back and tells PEOPLE: “If he has evidence then we would like to see it, and the LAPD would like to see it too. Cosby has not been convicted or even charged with any crime,” said Morris, who added that Cosby declined offers in recent weeks to cancel other shows. “I felt that we had a moral obligation to go on with the show.

Making his first appearance in Pueblo since a 1996 show at the Colorado State Fair, he was embraced by a mostly middle-aged and older crowd. “I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful,” he said. “I’m ready!” He finished his statement with references to his “Fat Albert” character’s trademark line and to his 2013 television special — “Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m Far From Finished.” Hecklers stood up and chanted repeatedly “we believe the women” at Cosby’s third and final performance of a Canadian tour 9 January. Beth Ferrier, a former model, also spoke, saying Cosby slipped something into her coffee in the mid-1980s and she woke up half clothed in her car outside a Denver nightclub. “I’m hearing from women in so many states,” she said, urging Cosby to waive the time limits for filing lawsuits or to meet with the accusers. “These are serious allegations — why doesn’t he want it to be decided by a judge and jury?” Chloe Goins’ attorney said that his client is the first woman accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct whose case may fall within the statute of limitations.

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