Bill Cosby: Comedian, Philanthropist, but Rape Allegations Won’t Go Away

With his new biography out this year and word of a new TV show, the public has been buzzing about previous claims of rape and sexual assault by a number of women who encountered Cosby over the years.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

On Monday, Bill Cosby’s website released the Cosby meme generator (now removed), an image macro that was supposed to let people create memes of the famed comedian from his Cosby Show days. But Cosby’s meme generator turned into an unfiltered vehicle to denounce the comedian over the numerous allegations of sexual assault that have plagued him over the years.

Cosby’s sordid sexual history goes back to the 1970s, according to his accusers, but most of the allegations didn’t get any media attention until a 2005 civil lawsuit in which 13 women came forward in support of the main litigant. All the women told similar stories of Cosby taking them under his wing as they sought careers in the entertainment industry. The women claimed that Cosby emotionally and physically broke them down, resulting in alleged druggings and sexual assaults.

Cosby settled the lawsuit in 2006, but the stories didn’t start surfacing again until news broke that the comedian was developing a new show with NBC. The following is a timeline of this suit and other sexual assault allegations made against Cosby.

November 2002

Andrea Constand, director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team, meets Cosby. They become friends, and Constand claims that she sees Cosby, a Temple grad, as a mentor.

January 2004

According to court documents, Constand says that she was invited to Cosby’s home to discuss his possibly helping her with a career change. During the discussion, Constand says, she felt “stressed” and that Cosby offered her three blue pills to help her relax. In the documents, Constand claims that her knees became weak and she began to feel dizzy and sick. After helping her to the couch, Cosby allegedly “touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated” her.

January 2005

A year later, Constand reports to police what she claims happened in Cosby’s home.

February 2005