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Bill Cosby Breaks Silence, Calls on Black Press for Fairness Amid Scandal

Praises Wife Camille's Loyalty

Stacy M. Brown | 12/14/2014, 6 a.m. | Updated on 12/14/2014, 9 p.m.
The much-maligned comedic icon, embroiled in an ever-growing sexual abuse scandal that now includes supermodel Beverly Johnson, appealed to the ...
Bill and Camille Cosby Travis Riddick

Bill Cosby has finally broken his silence.

The much-maligned comedic icon, embroiled in an ever-growing sexual abuse scandal that now includes supermodel Beverly Johnson, appealed to the African-American media to be impartial, requesting that the minority-owned organizations be sure its reporting remains balanced, accurate and fair.

"I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that, you have to go in with a neutral mind," he said Friday in an exclusive telephone interview with The Washington Informer from his Massachusetts home.

Cosby, 77, who through his representatives have denied the allegations leveled against him, declined to directly address the allegations during the conversation.

Surprisingly, Cosby sounded upbeat and even somewhat delighted to speak with a reporter, despite his team's wishes that he remain quiet and also despite being under such intense scrutiny.

When reminded that The Informer has balanced its reporting of the scandal by including the perspective of his many supporters in the District's African-American community, Cosby said he'd make sure that his team treats those reporters as "royalty."

"No," Cosby insisted, "I'm telling you, I will tell [my team] to treat you as royalty."

The comedian, who is being represented by the Manhattan-based crisis management company Hiltzik Strategies and attorneys Martin Singer and John B. Schmitt, said he's been advised not to talk to the media about the ongoing allegations in which more than two dozen women have publicly claimed that the "Fat Albert" creator drugged and raped them.

The allegations span at least four decades, beginning in the 1960s when Cosby became the first African-American to have a lead role in a television series, portraying Alexander Scott on NBC's "I Spy."

Johnson, the latest to accuse Cosby and one of the most famous models in America, auditioned for a small role in an episode of "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s. She alleged the star laced her cappuccino with drugs after he invited her to his New York brownstone to rehearse lines for the hit NBC television show.

While Johnson didn't accuse Cosby of rape, she said she didn't know what his intentions were after spiking her drink.

On Wednesday, a D.C. firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tamara Green, who claimed she was assaulted by Cosby. The Los Angeles Police Department reportedly opened a possible criminal investigation despite an expired statute of limitations.

During a Dec. 3 news conference, activist and attorney Gloria Allred called on Cosby to put $100 million in a fund for his accusers and to allow a panel of judges to determine the truth about their claims.

The actor has remained silent since the allegations first broke more than a month ago, allowing only his attorneys to speak for him.

Recently, Cosby took to Twitter to thank talk show host Whoopi Goldberg, actor Ben Vereen and singer Jill Scott for publicly backing him.

Cosby also didn't seem to mind the intrusion of being called at home Friday.

"I remember you," he said immediately after answering his phone. "I know you. How can I help you?"

When asked how his wife of more than 50 years, Camille, had been holding up under the strain of the stinging allegations, he waxed poetic about her loyalty to him.

"Love and the strength of womanhood," he said. "Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love."

Then, as quickly as the conversation began, Cosby abruptly ended it.

"They don't want me talking to the media," he said.