Cosby bust removed from theme park

Bill Cosby bust removed from Disney theme park

Bill Cosby, pictured in May
Cosby’s lawyers had tried to stop the release of the 2005 documents

A statue of Bill Cosby has been removed from a Disney theme park in the wake of revelations the comedian admitted in court he gave a woman drugs before sex.

The bust had been part of a Hall of Fame exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida.

Documents unsealed this week revealed Cosby testified in 2005 he had obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to sleep with.

Mr Cosby is facing a series of sexual assault claims dating back decades.

The 77-year-old has denied the accusations and has never been criminally charged.

Calls are mounting for other public tributes to the Cosby Show star to be removed, among them a mural at a Washington DC restaurant he has been known to frequent.

However, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, also in Washington, issued a statement on Tuesday saying it would continue to display artworks lent to the institution by Cosby and his wife Camille.

The museum said it was aware of the recent revelations about Cosby and that it “in no way condones this behaviour”, but said the exhibition was about the artworks and not their owners.

Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington is facing calls to remove its famous Cosby mural

Some figures in the entertainment industry have also commented on the revelations in recent days, either to offer tacit support for the comedian or to publicly distance themselves from him.

Speaking on her TV show The View on Tuesday, Whoopi Goldberg reserved judgement by saying “you are still innocent until proven guilty” and that Cosby had “not been proven a rapist”.

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson, who has accused Cosby of drugging and raping her in the early eighties, responded by calling Goldberg a “stupid woman” who “needs to be fired” from her talk show spot.

Dickinson also called the release of the sealed court documents a vindication.

“It shows that he and all his people knew all along that we were telling the truth,” she told People Magazine, while opening up about the impact of going public.

“It’s been extremely difficult for my two children and my fiance and my friends and it has been extremely hard for me. It’s so painful,” said the 60-year-old.

“I want an admission of guilt. This is not over until we get a fair judge and jury and he can go under oath and stand on trial under oath for what he did to me.”

Singer Jill Scott – formerly a staunch Cosby advocate – tweeted on Monday that she was “completely disgusted” and that the comedian’s “own testimony offers PROOF of terrible deeds.”

Film producer Judd Apatow, one of Cosby’s most vocal and consistent critics, said he did not feel the unsealed files, obtained by the Associated Press news agency, revealed “anything new”.

“It is only new to people who didn’t believe an enormous amount of women who stated clearly that [Cosby] drugged them,” he said in a statement to Esquire magazine.

“We shouldn’t need Bill Cosby to admit it to believe 40 people who were victimised by him,” continued the director and producer of Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and other film comedies.

“Maybe now more people in show business and all around our country will stand up and tell the people he attacked that we support you and believe you.”

The removal of Cosby’s likeness from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, part of the Walt Disney World resort, followed a petition on the website that said the replica was “inappropriate“.

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BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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