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Bill Cosby refuses to respond to rape allegations

Bill Cosby is accused of raping 13 women
Bill Cosby is accused of raping 13 women
Spencer Platt/Getty

Scott Simon at NPR sat down with Bill and Camille Cosby to discuss the display of their art collection at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, and the recently resurfaced rape allegations against Bill Cosby.

"This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby," Simon begins, "but there have been serious allegations against you in the last couple of days."

Simon then notes that Cosby shakes his head no.

"There are people who love you who might want to hear from you on this. I wanted to give you the chance," Simon continues, but Cosby refuses to respond.

If you're unfamiliar with the serious allegations Simon tried to discuss, Bill Cosby has been accused of raping 13 different women over the course of many years. He settled, out of court, in November 2006 with one of the women for an undisclosed amount of money. The other 12 victims did not testify at the trial. Tom Scocca at Gawker has a thorough run-down, and Matt Giles at Vulture has created a timeline of events.

The most recent victim to come forward, Barbara Bowman, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post on November 13 entitled "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"

In it, she wrote, "Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times."

In the post she questions why people only began to take her story seriously after a man – comedian Hannibal Burress – called Bill Cosby a rapist in a performance in Philadelphia in October.

Bill Cosby was supposed to appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" this week, but that appearance was cancelled amid the swirling rumors and after a failed publicity stunt to meme the comedian went viral on Twitter on November 10.

Cosby has addressed the allegations in the past, telling the National Enquirer in 2005, "Looking back on it, I realize that words and actions can be misinterpreted by another person."

Nearly ten years later, with the allegations back in the news, Cosby seems determined not to respond, leaving the stories of the victims amplified by his silence.

UPDATE: John P. Schmitt, a lawyer for Cosby, posted a statement on Cosby's website on November 16 claiming that the allegations are false. Schmitt wrote:

"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."

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