Bill Cosby alluded to the sexual assault scandal that’s been plaguing him on and off for years, gaining more traction in recent months, during a live performance in Canada. He cracked a joke to a woman, warning her that she should be careful drinking near him, according to the Associated Press.
This was during his second performance in a row in Ontario after a series of cancellations in the wake of the more than two dozen women who have come forward alleging sexual assault spanning virtually Cosby’s entire career as a comedian and actor. Many of those women have alleged that Cosby drugged them through a drink before assaulting them.
The incident occurred in an off-the-cuff moment when a woman got up near the stage and started making her way past the comedian, who asked where she was going. She explained that she was heading to the lobby to get a drink.
“You have to be careful about drinking around me,” the comedian said. His joke was met with enthusiastic applause.
According to CBS, the comedian also faced a heckler, who stood up at one point and shouted that Cosby is a rapist. He was escorted from the theater by a police officer.
As previously reported on TheWrap, “The Cosby Show” star has been accused by 29 women of sexual assault. Cosby has maintained his innocence through his lawyer, and recently both his TV daughter and wife have stood by their co-star.
Recent “Celebrity Apprentice” castoff Keishia Knight Pulliam — who played the precocious Rudy Huxtable — said on NBC’s “Today,” “It’s very much been played out in the court of public opinion, but we’re still in America where, ultimately, you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
Phylicia Rashad spoke out Tuesday night. “Forget these women,” she said. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
Cosby has had many projects canceled in the wake of these allegations, and even had reruns of his classic shows pulled from television networks. His stand-up routines in Ontario, though, have gone on as scheduled. Thursday night was the second of three nightly performances there.