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Cosby praises wife, disparages media in interview

Cosby said he has been advised by lawyers not to comment on the allegations and cut off the interview.

FILE: Bill Cosby. Picture: EPA.

JOHANNESBURG - Comedian Bill Cosby, besieged by a wave of sexual misconduct allegations, has praised his wife for supporting him and criticised the media for its coverage of a scandal that has already compromised his career.

Cosby, once a revered father figure and a forceful advocate of self-help for his fellow African Americans, made the remarks in a rare telephone interview with the New York Post, which published them on its website late on Saturday.

More than a dozen women have stepped forward to accuse Cosby of giving them alcohol or drugs and then sexually assaulting them in incidents that go back decades.

Several of the women have filed lawsuits against the actor, best known for playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992. Cosby has never been criminally charged, and through his lawyers, he denies the allegations.

In the Post's telephone interview, Cosby was asked how his wife of 50 years, Camille Cosby, was holding up amid the controversy.

"Love and the strength of womanhood," he said. "Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love."

But Cosby did not speak highly of the media.

"Let me say this," Cosby said. "I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind."

Cosby said he has been advised by lawyers not to comment on the allegations and he cut off the interview, the Post said.

"They don't want me talking to the media," Cosby said.

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