Bill Cosby’s daughter and wife speak out about rape claims

One of Bill Cosby’s daughters has defended the comedian against allegations from more than a dozen women that The Cosby Show star had sexually abused them decades ago.

Evin Cosby, 38, said in a statement that Cosby “is the father you thought you knew,” echoing the statement of her mother, Camille Cosby, who publicly defended her husband for the first time on Monday.

Mrs Cosby described the women who have come forward as “individuals and organisations whom many in the media have given a pass.

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“There appears to be no vetting of my husband’s accusers before stories are published or aired,” she said.

The statements from Camille and Evin Cosby have drawn on the comedian’s affable TV persona as the wholesome father Dr Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated series The Cosby Show.

“The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work,” Camille said.

The Cosby Show was my today’s TV reality show,” Evin Cosby said in the statement, which was released to celebrity news TV program Access Hollywood.

The statement released by Evin Cosby, one of Cosby’s five children, is her most public defence so far of her father. She previously had actively defended her father on Facebook and criticised institutions, like Atlanta’s Spelman College, that have severed affiliations with the trailblazing African-American comedian.

Cosby’s three other children, all daughters, have not spoken out publicly on the allegations.

His son, Ennis, was killed in 1997.

Cosby, 77, has not been charged, and his attorney, Marty Singer, has called the allegations “discredited” and “defamatory.”

Cosby settled a 2005 lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct. He faces one civil suit from the new wave of allegations. Most of the claims, which date back as far as the 1960s, have surpassed the statute of limitations.

One of the most recent claims, which was brought by a California woman Judy Huth, was deemed to have been too old by the LA County District Attorney’s Office to investigate. Huth alleges Cosby molested her as a 15-year-old at the Playboy mansion.

Another accuser, Tamara Green, has sued Cosby for defamation.

The comedian, who has largely remained silent, has had two television projects shelved and several stand-up performances cancelled since the numerous allegations started last month.

Cosby’s most high-profile accusers include models Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson.

Dickinson alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1982 while Johnson alleges Cosby drugged her in the mid-1980s.