The latest revelation regarding Bill Cosby giving women drugs before sex has ignited a new firestorm around the man best known for his role as Heathcliff Huxtable, and prompted major institutions like Disney to erase his likeness from their facilities.
On Wednesday, Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discussed the probability of Cosby facing additional legal trouble now that the details of a sealed 2005 deposition have been released, as well as comments made by The View’s Whoopi Goldberg and Raven-Symone, who have both reserved judgment of Cosby in the wake of the latest bombshell.
Legal Analyst, Criminal Defense Attorney, and Former Prosecutor Yodit Tewolde told Martin, “The only thing that most of Bill Cosby’s accusers can bring at this point are civil suits, because the statute of limitations for most of his accusers have already expired when it comes to criminal charges.”
She continued, “With a civil suit, you have a lower burden. So if they (the alleged Cosby victims) plead the right cause of action, they can actually get around the statute of limitations and then be able to use his sworn statement in that deposition in 2005.”
Tewolde also said that until Cosby is found guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt, she would be “remiss” not to agree with a portion of Goldberg’s comments, “because the proper venue in which to legally try and convict somebody is in a court of law and not in a court of public opinion.”
Separating Cosby The Man, From Cosby The Artist/Entertainer
As the fallout over comments Cosby made in a 2005 deposition continues to mount, CentricTV and Bounce TV decided to stop airing episodes of The Cosby Show. NewsOne Now panelist Joia Jefferson Nuri believes that “there should be a separation between a person’s life and a person’s art.”
She told Martin, “Cosby’s art has made a contribution to our culture for probably 50 years.” Nuri would like to be able to show episodes of I Spy and The Cosby Show to future generations with the caveat that Cosby is tried and convicted if found guilty, but his art should not be condemned.
Nuri also commended the National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. for not “folding under the pressure” and removing the exhibit featuring Cosby’s African-American collection. The museum did acknowledge the recent revelations in a statement, which read, “The museum in no way condones this behavior.”
When Martin asked if Cosby’s shows and upcoming projects should be put on hold “because there is so much heat” surrounding the entertainer, David Swerdlick, Associate Editor at The Washington Post said, “It’s a free market. It’s no longer good business to be in the Bill Cosby business.”
Watch Roland Martin, Legal Analyst Yodit Tewolde, Joia Jefferson Nuri, Founder of In The Public Eye Communications, David Swerdlick, Associate Editor at The Washington Post, and Danielle Belton, Associate Editor at TheRoot.com, discuss the fallout of Bill Cosby’s unsealed 2005 deposition in the video clip above.
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