Veteran comedian Bill Cosby finds himself accused once again of sexual assault.
Sunni Welles and Margie Shapiro came forward on Friday accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them decades ago. Welles said she was 17-years-old when she encountered Cosby, while Shapiro said she was 19.
Welles and Shapiro are the newest addition to more than three dozen women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault.
“He was a star. He was Bill Cosby and I buried it in my memory until all of these brave women began to come forward,” said Welles, reading her statement alongside celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.
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The growing number of allegations, which started in 2005, has caused Cosby to lose his television projects. Numerous comedy performances were canceled since, though the comedian continues with his Far From Finished tour. In the face of churning allegations, Cosby performed in Baltimore on Friday where he was heckled by a man from the audience who stood up and screamed, “38 women spoke up and called you a rapist. 38 women!” Fans came to the comedian’s defense, telling the heckler to “Shut up!” while Cosby urged everyone to be quiet while ushers looked for the interrupter. ‘We are here to enjoy my gift. We are not here to argue. Let those people speak. We will find them and ask them to leave,’ Cosby said.
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The venue has stopped serving beverages during the show for fear of protesters who might throw a drink at Cosby.
Cosby wore silk pajamas in a 10-second video plugging his West Virginia show and Allred, who represents several accusers, said Cosby “appears to be treating the allegations of so many women who have spoken out previously as a joke.”
Cosby has been charged with no crime yet, and his lawyer has dismissed the allegations. “I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos,” Cosby told Florida Today.
The 77-year-old refuses to stop touring, leaving promoters and theatre owners, who are liable if they break longstanding contracts with him, in an awkward position.
Cosby is set to perform on Saturday in Charleston, West Virginia.