Jay Leno on Bill Cosby: ‘I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe women’

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cosby: Leno questions, co-star defends.

LOS ANGELES – Former NBC late night host Jay Leno voiced his support on Wednesday for the women who have come forward claiming they were sexually assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby. Jay Leno on Bill Cosby: ‘I Don’t Know Why It’s So Hard to Believe Women.’ MIAMI — Jay Leno left no doubt where he stands on the Bill Cosby controversy with his remarks during a Q&A session at the NATPE conference on Wednesday. “I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe women,” Leno told comedian Tom Papa, who moderated the conversation. “You to go Saudi Arabia and you need two women to testify against a man. During an interview with CNN, Janice Dickinson described her alleged encounter with the star, saying that Cosby, whom she called a “monster,” drugged and raped her. “The last thing I remember was blacking out and Cosby mounting me like the monster he was,” she said after explaining that he gave her a pill that she thought was for menstrual cramps. “And I was thinking, ‘What the heck?’ I remember passing out, but more specifically waking up. At Wednesday’s conference, Leno added that he supported the way the allegations against Cosby were brought into the spotlight, after standup comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during a performance last October. “He made a flat-out statement that reverberated around the world.

Here you need 25.” Leno also talked about how it was Hannibal Buress who started the whole media nightmare for Cosby with a single joke that made the rounds online. Leno also observed that “it’s a good time for female comedians right now” and said he was “disappointed there isn’t more diversity in latenight comedy.” He noted that Phyllis Diller would occasionally call to give him jokes during his 22-year run on “The Tonight Show.” Leno told Papa he had no regrets or resentment over signing off — for good — last February. “You have to know when it’s time to move on,” he said. Leno’s comments come after actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Cosby’s son on television, told music trade magazine Billboard that he found it painful to hear the claims that the comedian sexually abused more than a dozen women. “Just as it’s painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it’s just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this.” Has a comment offended you? His standup touring is a big part of what has kept him grounded. “I always had another trade that I kept in my back pocket,” he said. “Show business is like champagne. If you drink it every day you become an alcoholic.” Reflecting on the ups and downs of his time at NBC, Leno said he never thought his ill-fated 10 p.m. variety show would work on NBC. “The idea behind the show was that we were never going to win in primetime but when reruns of (competing drama series) came along, we would do OK,” Leno said, adding that he never “wanted to have a show with my name on it.” One of the reasons he agreed to do the 10 p.m. “Jay Leno Show” in 2009 was that NBC made two-year salary commitments to his entire “Tonight Show” staff.

Asked if he had offers to do another talk show, Leno joked “Oh yeah, the phone’s ringing off the hook. ‘We’re looking for a 64-year-old worn-out comedian.’ ” Leno didn’t comment directly on the pending sign-off of his longtime rival David Letterman from latenight in May. But he drew a distinction between their career paths. “I was a comedian who was lucky enough to get a talk show,” Leno said. “Dave is a broadcaster who is also a comedian.”

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