The cable news network responds to Martin Singer’s claim that it’s running a smear campaign against the famous comedian
CNN fired back at Bill Cosby‘s attorney’s claims that the news network isn’t conducting a fair investigation of the claims against the comedian.
“Your letter is remarkable for its dishonesty,” CNN Worldwide’s senior vice president of legal, David Vigilante, wrote in a letter obtained by TheWrap.
In a letter to CNN president Jeffrey Zucker that surfaced on Saturday, Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, said that CNN decided not to use an interview with Beverly Johnson’s live-in boyfriend from 2006-2009, Mark Burk, because he didn’t corroborate her story of being drugged by the “Cosby Show” star for an upcoming special planned by the cable news network.
In addition, Singer alleged that the news organization wasn’t vetting Cosby’s accusers to the same level it vetted those who contradicted the accusers’ statements.
In response, Vigilante wrote, “Mr. Burk essentially says he has no recollection of Ms. Johnson ever mentioning any incidents to him during the time he knew her. He offers generalized statements that Ms. Johnson spoke in support of many different prominent African Americans in their business pursuits, including sometimes Mr. Cosby.”
Additionally, Vigilante said that Singer failed to mention in his previous letter that Burk had a history of “threatening and abusive behavior” towards Johnson, which he pled guilty to and was subject to a criminal protective order. Also, he sought palimony from Johnson, which was dismissed by the court.
Read the letter below:
In early December, Johnson came forward with Beverly Johnson Accuses Bill Cosby of Drugging Her During Audition for ‘The Cosby Show’” href=”http://www.thewrap.com/model-beverly-johnson-accuses-bill-cosby-of-drugging-her-during-audition-for-the-cosby-show/” target=”_blank”>accusations that Cosby drugged her during an audition for “The Cosby Show” in the mid-80s in an essay for Vanity Fair. The supermodel said that she was able to fight back, which caused the comedian to place her in a taxi home before any type of possible assault could occur.
Johnson is just one of more than 20 women who have come forward with accusations of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby.
In the wake of the mounting allegations against the 77-year-old comedian, Singer released a statement saying, “The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.”
Since the allegations against Cosby surfaced, NBC has abandoned plans to develop a comedy that would have starred Cosby, while Netflix has postponed a comedy special featuring the comedian. Also, several shows on Cosby’s standup tour have been canceled.