Count David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld among those backing away from Bill Cosby.
The former “Late Show” and “Seinfeld” stars are pulling their endorsement blurbs from the 2014 Bill Cosby biography “Cosby: His Life and Times.”
Seinfeld’s blurb reads, in part, “Whenever I think of why my life as a comedian happened, the first name I think of is Bill Cosby. I know certain religions forbid idol worship. If anyone ever told me I had to stop idolizing Bill Cosby, I would say, ‘Sorry, but I’m out of this religion.'”
Letterman’s laudatory quote reads, “Bill Cosby has contributed more to comedy, television, education, and humanitarian causes than any person I know. Actually any hundred people I know. And he’s still funny. It’s really not fair.”
“We were unaware that those quotes were still in circulation, and are asking the publisher to refrain from their future use,” a spokesman for the comedians told TheWrap in a statement.
Billy Crystal, Mary Tyler Moore and Stephen L. Carter also contributed blurbs to the biography.
The book was published in September 2014, shortly before Cosby was besieged by a flood of allegations that he had sexually assaulted dozens of women. A common theme of the allegations is that Cosby drugged the women before assaulting them. Earlier this month, a deposition from a 2005 case surfaced, in which Cosby admitted to acquiring Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with. In court papers filed Tuesday, Cosby’s attorneys contended that the admission did not amount to a confession of non-consensual sex, or that Cosby gave women drugs without their knowledge.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, has denied the allegations in the past. However, the accusations have caused a number of setbacks for the comedian. In addition to multiple lawsuits he’s facing, NBC decided to shelf a comedy project it was developing for Cosby, and Netflix postponed a special starring the comedian that was slated to premiere late last year.
A spokesman for Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher, told TheWrap that the company and Whitaker have decided to remove the endorsements received prior to the book’s publication, citing “recent events.”
“In light of recent events, and at the request of some individuals who offered endorsements of Mark Whitaker’s biography ‘Cosby’ Simon & Schuster and the author have decided to remove all of the celebrity endorsements we received prior to publication last fall,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, there is no plan for releasing a paperback edition, or for issuing a revised version of the book.”