Cosby Jokes About Date Rape Allegations

Londoners protest the Bill Cosby performance at Budweiser Gardens. January 8, 2015. Photo by Ashton Patis.

“You have to be careful about drinking around me.”

That was comedian Bill Cosby’s response to a female heckler who offered him a drink during his show at London’s Budweiser Gardens.

It was not a warm welcome for the 77-year-old, who faces over two dozen allegations of sexual assault. Some of the alleged incidents date back to when Cosby was a household name and a star on the popular television sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

Many of the women who have come forward with stories about Cosby say he slipped drugs in their drinks and then forced himself on them. As Cosby made the date rape joke, audience members groaned, gasped and then responded in laughter.

Protesters gathered outside the venue hours before his performance. Many had signs with the names of his 30 accusers and tried to shame those picking up tickets.

“I have no respect for these people, none. So what, they pay $50 or $70. Get a grip, you’re walking on women who have been raped,” says protester Melina LeDuc.

There were several heated exchanges between Cosby’s fans and those demonstrating outside.

“It takes so much for one woman to stand up and for one woman to come out against someone who has been entertaining people and winning the hearts of millions around the world. It makes me sad that they’ll still give him money,” says protester Ivey O.

Inside Budweiser Gardens there were several empty seats. An announcement before the comedian took the stage asked fans not to react if there were any disruptions.

During the show, one man stood up and yelled, “you are a rapist.” He was removed by security as Cosby calmed the crowd and carried on with his planned material.

“He paid his money to get inside and get kicked out. That’s perfectly fine, he has a right to his opinion. Bill handled it like a true professional and calmed everyone down then went about the show,” says fan Bryan Jones. “When I came in some people were telling me ’30 women’ or that I’m not a good Canadian… The guy is innocent until proven guilty and I just came to see one of the true legends of comedy.  I’m not going to condemn the man and not come see him. This is probably one of the last opportunities you’ll have to do that.”

In 2006, Cosby settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged he drugged and raped her in 2004. There were a total of 13 women with similar stories who agreed to testify had the case gone to trial.

At least ten shows on his tour were cancelled or postponed. NBC dropped a sitcom pilot starring Cosby and Netflix postponed the launch of the Bill Cosby: 77 comedy special.

Cosby is scheduled to appear in Hamilton tonight.