Obama weighed in on the Cosby situation during a news conference Wednesday when asked about the possibility of revoking the Presidential Medal of Freedom Cosby received in 2002 from then-President George W. Bush.
The release of the comedian’s sealed deposition in a 2005 civil suit, brought by a woman who accused him of sexual assault, has dragged Cosby back into the news media spotlight – and demands a response from him beyond that which has been offered up by his lawyers.
Another insider says, “Camille still doesn’t believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent”.
“This country – any civilized country – should have no tolerance for rape”, Obama said.
However, Obama said he did not have the power to revoke Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Cosby hasn’t been charged with a crime, but his own admissions point toward guilt of drugging women for sex.
“I don’t know if you can take away a medal or not”, he said. In the decade-old legal papers, Cosby admitted to buying Quaaludes for the purposes of drugging women. And while he declined to get into specifics about Cosby, he did make clear that he has “no tolerance for rape”.
“There is no precedent for revoking the medal”, Obama said during a press conference in the East Room.
The career of the pioneering black comedian – best known for playing lovable father figure Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hit TV comedy series “The Cosby Show” – is in tatters. Because of the sexual assault allegations slapped against Cosby, many believe that the honour should be revoked because it was given under “false pretences”. But through his attorneys, the 77-year-old Cosby – once one of the nation’s most popular television personalities – denies all. For several months after the story made headlines, Phillips was targeted for comments due to his past association with the show.
“But I think it is a part of the broader set of challenges that we face in creating a more flawless union”, he said. “But I would say, if you can, take it away”.
“The fact that [Cosby] would have an award like that, with other honorable people who have earned it and deserve to keep that award, is beyond comprehension”, she said. In relation to the allegations, Goldberg’s last words heard in over two million televised households were “innocent until proven guilty”.