Camille Cosby Issues Statement Comparing Cosby Allegations to UVA Case


At this point, over 20 women have come forward offering details (both new and not at all) about Bill Cosby’s alleged history of sexual assault. On Monday, CBS News tweeted this response from his wife Camille, who has doubtlessly been having a difficult time with the renewed attention on what appears to have been an open secret (the accusers include women as high-profile as Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, and their stories span four decades of her husband’s career).

Camille‘s move is a familiar one: to suggest that there is no victim like an accused rapist, and to imply that the women talking about being assaulted are not worthy of our trust. Despite statistics about rape reporting and conviction underlining a conclusion that is overwhelmingly the opposite, Camille Cosby’s viewpoint is dismayingly common, and those who share it have recently gotten quite a gift in the form of the Rolling Stone rape reporting fiasco. If that story was reported badly, then we might as well assume 50-50 odds on female truthfulness about rape, something that is still more dangerous to report than be accused of.

That is, I believe, how logic works.

Camille Cosby’s comparison of the Rolling Stone UVA coverage to the multi-outlet coverage of her husband’s alleged criminal behavior (“There appears to be no vetting… An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral”) is also wrong in a few concrete ways: for example, the Washington Post reported the accusation with admirable transparency, publishing a first-person narrative before a reported piece in which journalists cross-checked with official records and reached out to Cosby’s legal team multiple times along the way.

Image via Evan Vucci/AP

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