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No Laughing Matter: Inside the Cosby Allegations. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 8, 2015 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:07] ALYSIN CAMEROTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Last fall the legendary Bill Cosby was re-staking his claim as an A-list superstar at the age of 77.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Cosby was really looking at a career rejuvenation.

CAMEROTA: 30 years after his NBC blockbuster, the network was cooking up another Cosby sitcom. Netflix had planned to stream a comedy special and a 500-page biography was a New York Times bestseller.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then it hits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Cosby, under fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New fallout one project after another getting pulled from embattled comedian Bill Cosby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now accused of multiple sex assaults.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And once it hits, boy does it ever hit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he offered me a large bright pill. The last thing I remember -- I have blackouts and Cosby mounting me.

LYNN NEAL, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: He drugged and raped me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are such a perverted creep.

CAMEROTA: Bill Cosby has not been charged with any crimes. Yet he's gone from one of America's most revered entertainers to one of its most reviled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even Las Vegas canceled he's show. When you're too sleazy for Vegas...

CAMEROTA: No laughing matter, inside the Cosby allegation.

Denver, Colorado. Its a thousand miles from Los Angeles, 2,000 miles from New York City, but Denver is where Barbara Bowman decided she could grow up to be an actress.

BARBARA BOWMAN, ACTRESS & COSBY ACCUSER: I was a go-getter. I was adventurous, you know, I wanted this career. I had a passion to do this. Have a good run.

CAMEROTA: By 16 she was starring in local commercials.

BOWMAN: Come on up to Colorado's favorite ski resort. We guarantee you'll notice the difference.

CAMEROTA: And by 17, she was ready to audition for a superstar, Bill Cosby.

BOWMAN: He was America's favorite dad. He was everyone's father figure that they watched on T.V. every week.

CAMEROTA: Cosby was friend with Bowman's talent agent Jo Farrell.

Tell me about your agent. Can you describe her?

BOWMAN: Well, she was known in town as the barracuda.

CAMEROTA: Jo Farrell herself told the local Kiwanis Club, "If being a barracuda means I work very hard, protect my people and being a good businesswoman, then I accept it." A talent agency JF images had a big reputation. And Barbara Bowman had what I took to be a star.

DIANE MCFARLAND, EX-MODEL: I happen to know personally how talented she was.

CAMEROTA: Diane McFarland an ex-model helped manage the acting school of JF Images.

What were your impressions of Barbara when you worked with her?

MCFARLAND: Young, pretty, very dedicated, very focused, very bright, naive, young and sweet.

CAMEROTA: What might have her future look like?

MCFARLAND: Extremely bright, she's one of best student that we have.

CAMEROTA: Was she ambitious and determined?

MCFARLAND: Extremely and she wanted to win.

CAMEROTA: Want it so badly that for three years, starting when she was just 14. Bowman endured the criticism that the boss Jo Farrell regularly dished out.

MCFARLAND: And she would come in there and lay down the law. Do you think this is tough? Wait until you get to the next level. You think I'm tough? So get use to it now.

CAMEROTA: Bowman shot at the next level she says came in 1985. Bill Cosby was coming to Denver and her agent said he was scouting for potential stars.

BOWMAN: So when he can into town she selected me, you know, it was a big deal. CAMEROTA: A big deal because Cosby was the quintessential success story, rising from the project to Philadelphia, to the highs of Hollywood.

BOB HUBER, PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE: You don't get larger and more successful and Bill Cosby unless your Barack Obama.

CAMEROTA: Bob Huber covers Cosby for Philadelphia Magazine.

HUBER: He was the first leading black man on network back in the mid '60s.

CAMEROTA: Cosby's performance in "I Spy" won him three consecutive Emmys. But that was nothing compared to what came next.

By 1985 he had become a television juggernaut with "The Cosby Show".

BILL COSBY, ACTOR: What you need to do now is go to the next level if you want Justine back.


COSBY: Begging.

CAMEROTA: For eight seasons on NBC he started the lovable Dr. Cliff Huxtable. Patriarch of an upper middle class family that defied racial stereotypes, revived the sitcom genre and generated mega box in syndication.

HUBER: It made him a huge, huge star not only in the African-American world but of course for white middle-class Americans as well.

CAMEROTA: Barbara Bowman says the plan was to audition for the superstar at the Turn of the Century night club. She was nervous, excited, groomed and ready to met Bill Cosby. It was the moment that would change her life.

When we come back.

BOWMAN: At one point I went like this and started to move his hands away and he just said, no, you can't do that. You need to relax.


CAMEROTA: Bill Cosby has earned millions of fans, hundreds of millions of dollars and the admiration of many including colleague like Phylicia Rashad.

PHYLICIA RASHAD, ACTRESS: He is a genius. He is generous, he is kind, he is inclusive.

CAMEROTA: In 1985, with Cosby's popularity soaring, Barbara Bowman says she was tapped by her agent to audition for him at a Denver Nightclub. She recalls, he asked about her childhood. BARBARA BOWMAN, ACTRESS & COSBY ACCUSER: He zeroed right in on the fact that I really was sort of a vulnerable kid, no dad, no father figure in my life, and wanted to take on that role. And it was an honor to be there, and I wanted him to care about me like a father would care about a daughter.

CAMEROTA: Then she says it was show time to see how well this budding actress could perform.

BOWMAN: He wanted me to do an acting improv exercise where I was intoxicated. So, he explained to me that it was going to be a little uncomfortable for really authentic in our acting we'd have tap in and let my guard down, and I trust him. He has me close my eyes and proceed to act drunk. And he's behind me and he's -- you know, he's stroking my hair and stroking my neck and, you know, kind of rubbing my shoulders and getting me to relax. And meanwhile his hands are moving down onto my breasts. And at one point I went like this and started to move his hands away and he just said, no, you can't do that, you need to relax.

CAMEROTA: For a 17-year-old aching to be an actress, she says it was confusing.

BOWMAN: You know, and I wanted to trust him. I really, really, really wanted to trust him.

CAMEROTA: Bowman's agent Jo Farrell is now retired. She declined to comment to CNN but in 2006 she told "The Denver Post", "I don't know the truth of it. It's mind-boggling. I don't set up interviews in bars and it makes me sad because my reputation has always been golden in this city. I have never seen Cosby to be anything but a gentleman."

CAMEROTA: That's what Bowman says she wanted to believe too.

BOWMAN: And that he was really going to groom me and mentor me and that he had a lot that he could offer me.

CAMEROTA: Bowman says Cosby soon invited her to see some of his shows, there was Seattle and then Reno. There, he pressured her to perform a scene in his hotel room.

BOWMAN: He turned off the lights and he made to close my eyes and went through an excise, a trust excise.

CAMEROTA: It was sexual?

BOWMAN: It was sexual.

CAMEROTA: He had his pants off?


CAMEROTA: And were you?

BOWMAN: Or down at least? CAMEROTA: He had his pants down and he forced your hand on him.


CAMEROTA: And were you drugged? BOWMAN: I don't know, but I know that I was frigid and frozen with fear and just went into a zone and mechanically went through the motion. I felt so violated and I felt like disgusted. I couldn't tell anybody I felt dirty.

CAMEROTA: Why was it not option to tell anyone at the agency about what happened?

BOWMAN: I was full of shame and fear and disgust. It was just too farfetched for anyone to believe.

CAMEROTA: How were you able to get pass that to see him again?

BOWMAN: A coping mechanism, a survival mode kicked in. I just -- it was -- I was so shocked that I wanted to just believe it didn't happened.

MCFARLAND: And it was way back when nobody sue anybody.

CAMEROTA: After working as a model and then for JF Images, Diane McFarland knew how the acting business could be.

MCFARLAND: And I think there was a lot of confusion with these girls about maybe everybody has to do a little something so, it was terrifying and you wouldn't know what to do.

CAMEROTA: McFarland says Bowman would eventually confide in her. And when she came to you what were those conversations was?

MCFARLAND: I just remember that she was traumatized by -- from sexual abuse. I don't remember the details. I just remember the tears and holding her and telling he she'd be OK.

CAMEROTA: McFarland now wishes she had done more to protect Bowman.

MCFARLAND: I would have lost my job and that was scary but, you know, I'm just a different person now too. I'm not excusing it.

CAMEROTA: For about a year Bowman took classes and prepared until she says her agent Jo Farrell declared her ready for New York.

BOWMAN: She was looking to always graduate her talent into the big leagues.

CAMEROTA: So Bowman left college for the big apple.

BOWMAN: Just getting off the plane it was like, oh my gosh, I'm really here.

CAMEROTA: Bowman says her agent and Cosby paid for her apartment and classes at this acting school.

BOWMAN: I felt, you know, that this was an amazing opportunity.

CAMEROTA: An opportunity that with hard work might lead to a role on T.V's number show. Was the thinking that Bill Cosby was recruiting to be on the Cosby Show?

BOWMAN: Yes. Not necessarily like, I'm taking you out of Denver, we're taking you to New York and you're going to be on the show but that was all part of the menu of items that we're going to be available.

CAMEROTA: Success for the actress also meant success for the agent.

BOWMAN: Millions of young women want to be actresses and I've got a team of people behind me that believed in me, that care about me. I felt lucky.

CAMEROTA: But Bowman says that feeling would change, drastically.

When we come back.

BOWMAN: I was drugged. I was assaulted and I was raped.


CAMEROTA: New York City, the big time. It was here and now 18-year- old Barbara Bowman hoped she could found the acting career she dreamed of.

With the backing of her agent and Bill Cosby, one of the country's biggest super stars, she thought she had a shot.

BOWMAN: I'm going to prove it that I have it in me. And I'm going to be the model actor and model student. And they we're going to open those doors for me.

CAMEROTA: Open those doors she says as long as she played by their roles.

BOWMAN: I found myself in New York then under complete and under control of him and my agent. I became very isolated. I was put into an apartment and I was supposed to just very, you know, stand straight as an arrow, go straight to acting classes, comes straight back.

CAMEROTA: The rude awakening came here, Bill Cosby's Manhattan ground zone.

When is the last time you saw this?

BOWMAN: That night.

CAMEROTA: She says Cosby invited her over for what was supposed to be tutoring. BOWMAN: I had one glass of wine, went up stairs, started the acting exercise and that was it. I just remember putting the script down because I needed -- like I was feeling fuzzy, dizzy.

It was like a lobotomy (ph) where there, you're awake but you're not there, you're vacant and just a baffled state of mind.

The next think I know I'm in the bathroom. And I am throwing up. CAMEROTA: Bowman says she didn't know why she was throwing up. Cosby would tell her she drank too much but she says she never even finished her glass of wine.

BOWMAN: So as I'm throwing up over the toilet and he is right here and the robe is -- it's tied but it's open. And the boxer shorts are open and his penis is out and brushing against my back.

CAMEROTA: Your panties are on you or off you?

BOWMAN: They're like on pulled over to this side and like all messed up and I knew what happened.

CAMEROTA: How did you know what happened?

BOWMAN: Because a woman knows, and I was wet and dirty.

I was drugged. I was assaulted. And I was raped.

CAMEROTA: And this time, Bowman says she mustered the courage to tell her agent, Jo Farrell back in Denver.

BOWMAN: And she did nothing. And insinuated, that's enough, I mean what are you talking about, how could you say such thing?

CAMEROTA: Farrell has said that conversation never happened. Telling the Denver Post, the women she represented never said anything to me about this.

But back in New York, Barbara Bowman says she was distraught.

BOWMAN: And I was so freaked out and getting that response was just crashing.

CAMEROTA: Unable to get support from her agent, Bowman says she turned to a lawyer.

BOWMAN: He didn't believe me and he called my claims preposterous. That's Bill Cosby you're talking about and asked me out to the office. That's all it took, that's all it took, was one more person not to believe me.

CAMEROTA: Demoralized and alone, Bowman did not file a police report.

After that, why didn't you sever all contact with him?

BOWMAN: It wasn't like that. I was a prisoner. I was completely and utterly dependent.

CAMEROTA: Dependent and with no choice when she says Cosby and her agent moved her to Long Island 25 miles away from Manhattan.

And why did they move you out here?

BOWMAN: I don't know. You know, I felt like they were hiding me in this tiny little world and I was isolated from everybody. When the rules was, no visitors -- it was very restricted.

CAMEROTA: Restricted, isolated, and controlled, she says.

BOWMAN: It was like I was always on edge.

CAMEROTA: It was while you were living here that Atlantic City happened.


Bill Cosby invited me down to the shore. He was performing down there.

CAMEROTA: She went.

Once she got to her hotel room, Bowman says she realized her luggage was missing and she started to panic.

BOWMAN: I felt very vulnerable and just -- I wanted my stuff and I've started to call from his room and he called me down to the room and it seems like he picked up the phone, start calling -- he started to just go crazy and slam the phone down and tell me not to worry about the luggage and turn the lights out.

CAMEROTA: Bowman says all she remembers is waking up the next morning in her room undressed with her suitcase.

BOWMAN: And I get call from Cosby and he summons me over to his room, yelling at me...

CAMEROTA: What was he yelling at you about?

BOWMAN: That I embarrassed him and that I was loud and that I let the whole hotel know that I was there and now the hotel is going to wonder what he's doing with a 19-year-old girl in his suite, and what's the big deal with the luggage and on and on.

CAMEROTA: Cosby she says became violent.

As she described in a phone call to her best friend Denise Victor (ph)

DENISE VICTOR (PH), BARBARA BOWMAN'S BEST FRIEND: She called me, you know, it's Bill Cosby, it's Bill Cosby.

BOWMAN: He throw me down on the bed, jumped on top of me, straddled me, put his arm under my robe...

VICTOR (PH): She kept saying, he's animal, he's an animal.

BOWMAN: And I am lying like this and just begging and screaming and crying. Stop, please stop. Get off me, get off me, I'm screaming, I'm kicking him from behind like this and he's struggling will all his might to get his pants off and undo his belt buckle.

VICTOR (PH): She kept saying, you know, I fought him, I fought him hard. BOWMAN: But the belt buckles getting cut and its clinking and making all these racket and he adjusted his grip and went then for like pants and I wiggled out it was like a light switch just click and it was like he snapped into reality. And kind of caught himself that he was creating this huge scene. He just receiving (ph) just finger my base and just called me baby and he kicked me out and he said you're done. That's it.

And I literally went back to Denver with the clothes on my back.

CAMEROTA: It was over. Bowman tried to pick up the pieces of her life and restarted her career with roles in several films.

BOWMAN: Oh I am checking it out.

CAMEROTA: She tried to put Bill Cosby out of her mind for the next 20 years.

BOWMAN: And I thought I was the only one.

CAMEROTA: That is until 2005, when another woman took on Bill Cosby in court and Bowman decided to join the fight.

BOWMAN: I said I will be damned if I will sit in silence anymore. I will do whatever it takes to let people know that that woman is telling the truth.


CAMEROTA: Barbara Bowman determined to succeed in a tough business tried to put Cosby out of her mind. She felt she had too.

CONSTAND: I was scared to death and in my world I didn't think I had anybody else who was listening.

CAMEROTA: 20 years would past from the time Bowman says she was raped, until 2005 when she read about another woman accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

CONSTAND: I really believe I was the only other one. I though, oh my God another woman and I became emo rage (ph) and I said, I will be dammed if I will sit in silent anymore, I will do whatever it takes to let people know that that woman is telling the truth because it happened to me.

CAMEROTA: That woman was Andrea Constand. Andrea Constand was Director of Operation for the Women's Basketball Program at Temple University in Philadelphia.

There she met Bill Cosby, a Temple graduate and very big man on campus.

DIANA MOSKOVITZ, WRITER, DEADSPIN: We all know he was a very active along. And he looks -- that included the women's basketball team.

CAMEROTA: Diana Moskovitz from the online sport site Deadspin has reported on Constand and Cosby.

MOSKOVITZ: He befriend her, he would have her over for dinner parties, sometimes just for dinner with just a two of them. She though he was just someone who wanted to mentor her.

CAMEROTA: But in January 2005 Constand told authorities that Cosby sexually assaulted her in his home in suburban Philadelphia a year before. Bruce Caster was the county prosecutor at the time.


The impression that detector gave me about Andrea where that she was clearly telling the truth but that her recollection was fuzzy.

CAMEROTA: A fuzzy memory that he says is inconsistent with victims of date rape drugs.

CASTER: We actually we're building the theory that she had been drugged.

CAMEROTA: Cosby's lawyer called the accusation, "Utterly preposterous and truly bizarre". But Cosby agreed to talk to detectives.

CASTER: Cosby I believe felt he was going to be arrested and was frightened.

CAMEROTA: In the end the prosecutor decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

CASTER: What I think and what I can proof are two different things.

CAMEROTA: Undeterred Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby playing out her accusations for everyone to see.

MOSKOVITZ: She's so important because she was the first woman to come forward and say this -- had come forward and say it with her name.

CAMEROTA: She claimed Cosby had invited her to his home offering career advice.

MOSKOVITZ: She was talking to him because she was thinking about a career change, she's very nervous about it wanted his advice on it. And she's talking about how nervous she is and he offers her three pills, so this will help calm you down.

CAMEROTA: Constand says he told they were an herbal medication. But in his court response Cosby says they were one and one half tables of Benadryl.

And she trusted him.

MOSKOVITZ: She trusted him. He's Bill Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Constand claimed that after taking the pills she was only barely conscious.

MOSKOVITZ: She felt dizzy, she felt weak there wasn't much she could do.

CAMEROTA: Unable to walk on her on. Constand said Cosby let her to a sofa.

MOSKOVITZ: Fainted in the sofa, he touched her breast, touches her vagina, eventually he digitally penetrate her.

CAMEROTA: Answering the accusations Cosby denied drugging or sexually assaulting her.

MOSKOVITZ: He is telling the media that this is all made up that this family just in it for money that they're trying to, you know, extorted money from him.

CAMEROTA: As part of her civil suit Andrea Constand was lining up one witness after another.

CONSTAND: When I finally gotten in tough with her attorney and said, my name is Barbara Bowman and it happened to me too and she told me you're not only one.

CAMEROTA: Far from it, in all 12 women listed in court document as Jane Doe's had similar accusations, long past the statute of limitation by nonetheless willing to testify about an alleged pattern of wrongdoing. Most of the women wanted to stay anonymous but a few went public.

TAMARA GREEN, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: He produced two capsules...

CAMEROTA: California Attorney Tamara Green on the Today Show.

GREEN: Groping me and kissing me and touching me and handling me.

CAMEROTA: Cosby's lawyer said, "The incident she describes did not happen".

BETH FERRIER, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: I do not ever deserve that.

CAMEROTA: Former model Beth Ferrier talks to the Philadelphia Daily News.

FERRIER: He hurt me in the most wicked and horrible way.

CAMEROTA: Spokesman for Cosby declined to comment and Barbara Bowman in Philadelphia Magazine.

CONSTAND: What happened was horrible painful and frightening.

CAMEROTA: Cosby's lawyer called Bowman claims "absolutely untrue". But Bowman, Green, Ferrier and the others would not back down.

CONSTAND: I want people to know that we're real people out here and that it is happening. And I'm going to let people know.

CAMEROTA: Let people know by testifying an Andrea Constand civil case.

But when we come back Constand versus Cosby takes an abrupt term

MOSKOVITZ: And I just seem to disappear into the ether (ph) almost.


CAMEROTA: By late 2016, four women had publicly accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexuality assaulting them. Andrea Constand and her lawsuit against Cosby.


CAMEROTA: Tamara Green, Beth Ferrier and Barbara Bowman. Allegations like these would bring down most public figures but not Bill Cosby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wrote my 6,500 work piece for Philadelphia Magazine thinking that with all of these women claiming that they have stories similar to Andrea Constand, this thing is going to explode.

CAMEROTA: But, it did not, at least not in 2006 because Cosby and Andrea Constand reached an out of court settlement. The terms were never made public and when the lawsuit ended so did the media interest.

BOWMAN: We got a little bit of media attention. It would go away and the mainstream wouldn't touch it. Nobody would touch it.

CAMEROTA: Cosby maintained his image as America's favorite dad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you really want to seek it out you can find it or you can just go about your day watching Cosby Show (inaudible) and have no idea that this can ever happened.

CAMEROTA: Though Cosby remained silent about the allegations. He had plenty to say on other matters.

COSBY: A 13-year-old son got no business seeing himself as a man who can drop a seed and walk away and somehow called himself a man.

CAMEROTA: He toured the country urging African-Americans to take personal responsibility.

COSBY: You were dealing drugs.


COSBY: Truly does (ph) it. You were impregnating our 13, 12, 11- year- old children to each other.

CAMEROTA: He built these controversial lectures as callout.

COSBY: I'm calling you out and I'm holding you accountable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's was pretty big irony that he's lecturing African-American communities about their behavior and what they need to do and at the same time if these allegations are true certainly hiding behind his own behavior. CAMEROTA: For the next eight years Cosby was mostly out of the entertainment spot light but the accolades continued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Cosby would go off into the sunset unless there were some dramas, unless there was something to happen to trigger a change.

CAMEROTA: That trigger would be an up and coming comedian named Hannibal Buress.

HANNIBAL BURESS, COMEDIAN: He gets on T.V. pull you pants up black people. I was on T.V. in the 80s.

CAMEROTA: Last October Buress called out Cosby in stand-up routine.

BURESS: I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom. Yeah, but you raped women Bill Cosby so, turn the crazy down a couple notches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He accused Bill Cosby very directly of being a rapist and that changed everything.

CAMEROTA: It change everything because on that evening a reporter from Philadelphia magazine within the audience recording this video with his phone.

BURESS: He is great living (ph) Bill Cosby. So...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I heard about this Hannibal Buress thing...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By comedian Hannibal Buress.


CAMEROTA: The video goes viral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist.

CAMEROTA: Soon team Cosby is also using social media inviting fans to create memes or captions using classic photos from his website.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a huge miscalculation? If they really think they were going to combat Hannibal Buress and what he said by some sort of initiative of people saying nice things with these old photos of Bill Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Whether or not it was a tactical move, Meme me backfires. People using memes to lambast Cosby about the rape allegations.

Barbara Bowman sees the irony.

BOWMAN: It took a man to crack a joke on stage in a comedy routine calling Bill Cosby a rapist for people to go. Wow, maybe there are some things to this. CAMEROTA: A month after the Buress video Bowman writes a piece for the Washington Post online. "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"

LEMON: And joining me now Barbara Bowman, he alleges she has raped by Bill Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Bowman also tells her story on CNN.

BOWMAN: I have been speaking out publicly and trying to have the story believed and heard since 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rape allegation.

CAMEROTA: Now, the media are finally picking up the story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rape allegations against Bill Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Over this at the Smithsonian where Bill and his wife Camille are displaying their African-American art collection.

SCOTT SIMON, NPR CORRESPONDENT: This question gives me no pleasure Mr. Cosby.

CAMEROTA: NPR's Scott Simon asked about the rape allegations.

SIMON: There have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days. You're shaking your head. no. I'm in the news business I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges? You're shaking your head no.

CAMEROTA: The Associated Press also tries to get a response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to ask you about your name coming up in the news recently regarding this comedian.

COSBY: No, no. We don't answer that.

CAMEROTA: Cosby barrettes the reporter for even bringing up the subject.

COSBY: And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled. I think you may want to consider yourself to be serious that it will not appear anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It didn't play well. It didn't look good for Bill Cosby.

CAMEROTA: Under mounting pressure Cosby's camp response to the renewed allegations. "The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment."

But one thing is clear, reporters who for years failed to ask Cosby the hard questions are now paying attention. And this time the story is not going away. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe in women.

CAMEROTA: When we come back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He drugged and raped me.

CAMEROTA: More than two dozen women come forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bill Cosby if you think that rape is a joke.


BOWMAN: I may able to do this because I have really good survival skills.

CAMEROTA: For more than a decade, Barbara Bowman has been fighting, telling a story few people wanted to hear.

BOWMAN: You know, I feel sad for me.

CAMEROTA: In the fall of 2014, she pushes again, this time, with a first-person account in the Washington Post.

BOWMAN: It's not that it's just me...

CAMEROTA: And around of T.V. interviews.

BOWMAN: Victims don't come out. They don't talk. They're ashamed. They are embarrassed.

Every bit of media that I did was directed a victim. I practically pleaded for them to come forward.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Rape allegations by multiple women.

CAMEROTA: And this time, they do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I came to, I was in bed with him, naked.

CAMEROTA: The next week, an avalanche of accusations in the media.

As women alleged Bill Cosby sexually assaulted during the '60s, '70s, '80, and '90s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then he started to push himself on top of me like against the seat... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was kind of leaning forward and he was behind me having sex with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The stories just keep coming.

CAMEROTA: Several claimed they were drugged.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was feeling more and more groggy...

CAMEROTA: Including Former Playboy Playmate Victoria Valentino. VICTORIA VALENTINO, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: My (inaudible) is flying. He forced me to perform oral sex and he turned me over. And when he was done, he got up and he start to walk out.


CAMEROTA: And former talent agency Secretary Kristina Ruehli.

RUEHLI: He has his hand on the back of my head. And he was trying to push me towards his erect penis. I lifted my head away and pulled myself away immediately.

CAMEROTA: Cosby's lawyer says the allegations are absurd.

"These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years."


CAMEROTA: As Bill Cosby's come back, the damage is done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We believe the women.

CAMEROTA: Netflix Shelves his comedy special, NBC abandoned his plans for an upcoming sitcom. And T.V. Land stops airing reruns of the Cosby Show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People believe these women now and nobody wants to be associated with a man who's being accused of being a serial rapist.

CAMEROTA: Cosby breaks his silence through a local paper in Florida. "I know people are tired of me not saying anything but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want people to know that I have an encounter with Bill Cosby.

NEAL: He built my trust by pretending to be a friend. He drugged and raped me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't move or say anything. I felt something warm on my legs.

CAMEROTA: In the weeks that follow, the number of accusers grows to more than two dozen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew he had drugged me.

LINDA KIRKPATRICK, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: Cosby was on top of me, kissing me forcefully.

P.J. MASTEN, BILL COSBY ACCUSER: I woke up in the bed, naked, bruised. He was lying next to me.

CAMEROTA: Bill Cosby declined our request for an interview. But some who know him well have spoken out in support.

Actor Ben Vereen on "Entertainment Tonight".

BEN VEREEN, ACTOR: I love the man. I support you. Bill, we're praying for you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I saw was fun, never anything inappropriate.

CAMEROTA: Bill Cosby's T.V. wife, Phylicia Rashad on ABC News.

PHYLICIA RASHAD, ACTRESS: We're talking about a legacy that inspired a generation of young people to consider and pursue higher education. We're talking about a legacy that introduced and portrayed American culture and its diversity. It's difficult for me to watch this legacy be erased as if it never happened.

CAMEROTA: And Cosby's real wife of more than 50 years Camille Cosby releases this statement.

"The man I met and feel in loved with and whom I continue to love is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you know. A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know."


CAMEROTA: A portrait Mrs. Cosby says, painted by irresponsible media.

"None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked, who is the victim?"

Cosby's legacy now hangs in the balance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Professionally, you can't deny success, you can't deny his career, you can't deny the importance of the Cosby Show. He's Mr. Huxtable.

But, then you also have to look at the man who created that character Bill Cosby and everything he's accused of doing and also remember that.

CAMEROTA: Because the statute of limitations has expired on almost all the alleged incidents, its unlikely Cosby will ever face criminal charges.

So for Bill Cosby the show goes on.


CAMEROTA: Some of his shows have been canceled.

At others he's gotten standing ovation.

For Barbara Bowman, the applause rings hallow.

BOWMAN: I have to imagine that there's a sinking feeling somewhere in his gut that it's over.

CAMEROTA: In the hours we spent with her, she shared painful, intimate details about the past of 30 years and she was stoic.

That is until the end of our last interview.

BOWMAN: Oh I'm fine (ph).

People are listening at my stories whole. I'm not lying and now people know it. And I'm so sad for all of us. But it validates every one of us to be able to compare our stories and see the similarities and knowing in our heart finally. Did it happen? Did it happen? Did it really happen? Yes, it really happened. And it's over. It's over.