Disney’s theme park removes Cosby’s statue

Move comes a day after unsealing of testimony in a 2005 sexual assault case against comedian

Ians/REUTERS July 09, 2015
The statue was removed amid sexual abuse allegations against Cosby that have been pouring in over the past year. PHOTO: FILE

ORLANDO/MIAMI: A bronze bust of beleaguered comedian Bill Cosby was removed from the Walt Disney World theme park in Florida overnight, a Disney spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The spokeswoman said the bust, part of an outdoor exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Orlando that honours members of the Television Academy Hall of Fame, was taken away after the park closed on Tuesday.

Disney gave no reason for the removal but it came a day after the unsealing of testimony in a 2005 sexual assault civil case in which Cosby said he had obtained Quaalude sedatives with the intent of giving them to young women with whom he wanted to have sex.

Although the case was closed after the parties reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum, the release of its documents comes at a time when Cosby is facing dozens of accusations from women, who claim that he drugged and raped them. Linda Traitz is the woman who launched a petition campaign seven months ago on the Change.org website to get Disney to remove the Cosby bust.

Some 40 women have come forward in the past year to accuse the once beloved star of TV comedy series The Cosby Show of drugging and sexually assaulting them in incidents dating back decades. Cosby, 77, has not been criminally charged and his attorneys have consistently denied the allegations. However, his career has taken a hit with TV projects and live shows being cancelled.

Busts remaining in the Hollywood Studios exhibit include those of entertainers Lucille Ball, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Newhart, Dick Clark, Andy Griffith and Walt Disney.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th,  2015.

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