Home' Greymouth Star : November 25th 2014 Contents Duncan Gillies
of the New Zealand Herald
ith every day that
passes, it seems the
rosy image of Bill
Cosby as the beloved,
sweater-clad dad of
The Cosby Show is
being further tarnished by allegations that
he sexually assaulted multiple women over
On Saturday, a Florida woman became
the fourth in less than a month to come
for ward with similar claims. In an
inter view with local news station WPTV,
Therese Serignese alleged that in 1976,
when she was 19, the comedian offered her
pills following a show in Las Vegas, and
that she later woke up to find him having
sex with her.
The 77-year-old star had declined to
comment on previous allegations during a
November 6 inter view with the Associated
Press, video of which emerged this week.
As that inter view concluded, Cosby
requested that the segment about the
allegations be “scuttled ”, suggesting that by
broaching the subject, AP’s reporter had
compromised his integrity.
Cosby and his representatives have
consistently and strenuously denied
accusations against him, with his lawyer
describing the women’s claims as
“preposterous” and “bizarre”. He has never
been charged with any crime related to the
The current swirl of accusations began
last week, when Barbara Bowman, a former
teenage model, described allegedly being
“drugged and raped” by Cosby, in an article
for the Washington Post.
“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,” claimed
Bowman, now 47. “In one case, I blacked
out after having dinner and one glass of
wine at his New York City brownstone ...
I’m certain that he drugged and raped me.”
Her claims were compounded by
accusations from another woman, who
said Cosby had raped her in 1969, when
she was 19. Joan Tarshis, then an aspiring
comedy writer, alleged Cosby mixed her
a drink at his studio bungalow. “ The next
thing I remember was coming to on his
couch while being undressed,” she wrote
on the website Hollywood Elsewhere last
weekend. “ Through the haze I thought I
was being clever when I told him I had
an infection and he would catch it and his
wife would know he had sex with someone.
But he just found another orifice to use.”
In an interview with Entertainment
Tonight broadcast last week, supermodel
Janice Dickinson, 59, claimed Cosby
had invited her to meet him at a hotel in
California in 1982, to discuss her career.
During their meeting, she alleged, he
offered her wine and a pill, ostensibly
to alleviate her period pains. “ The next
morning I woke up, and I wasn’t wearing
my pyjamas, and I remember before
I passed out that I had been sexually
assaulted by this man,” she said. “ The last
thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a
patchwork robe, dropping his robe and
getting on top of me.”
The Daily Mail reported on its website
yesterday that Carla Ferrigno, wife of The
Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, claims
Cosby used a “friend ” to pick her up and
arrange for her to meet the star in 1969
while she was still in her teens.
The Mail reported that after a night out
with Cosby and his wife Camille, Ferrigno
went with the Cosbys to their home in Los
Angeles where Camille retired, Ferrigno’s
date left the room and Cosby tried to have
his way with her.
Ferrigno told the Mail: “No one has ever
been that physically violent with me.” But
she resisted, ran out of the room and told
her date she wanted to leave. “ I knew right
then, that he knew, he knew why he was
bringing me here.” They left together and
she never saw the man again, she said.
Why are these allegations coming out
In fact, Cosby first faced accusations of
sexual assault in 2005. Andrea Constand,
the director of the women’s basketball
team at Temple University, the comedian’s
alma mater, claimed he had drugged and
molested her at his home in Philadelphia
the previous year.
Another 13 women reportedly offered
to testify in her case, including Bowman,
Serignese and former model Beth Ferrier,
who had been in a consensual relationship
with Cosby in the 1980s, but who claimed
he later drugged and sexually assaulted
her. However, Constand’s lawsuit was
eventually settled out of court.
At the time, a California lawyer named
Tamara Green was also inter viewed on
United States television, claiming Cosby
had drugged and sexually assaulted her
when she was a young model during the
1970s. Green alleged that after giving her a
pill to combat her flu, Cosby had driven her
home and then started “groping me and
kissing me and touching me and handling
me and ... taking off my clothes”. Cosby’s
lawyer denied her claims categorically.
Ten years ago there was no social media
to speak of, which meant the allegations
failed to make their way into the public
consciousness. That had all changed by
this September, when journalist Mark
Whitaker published a biography, Cosby:
His Life and Times, which controversially
omitted the allegations of sexual assault
against its subject.
The following month, comedian Hannibal
Buress described Cosby as a “rapist ” during
a stand-up set in Philadelphia; the clip
went viral. Inspired by the response to
Buress’s routine, Bowman penned her
account for the Washington Post, and the
The alleged incidents stretch back to the
1960s; why did these women not come
for ward earlier?
Some of Cosby’s accusers have said that
they remained silent because they felt
scared, intimidated or ashamed. Bowman
claimed she tried to interest a lawyer in
her case soon after the alleged assaults,
but that he “laughed” her out of his office.
Dickinson said she had never spoken out
about the alleged rape until now because
“I was afraid of being labelled a whore or a
slut and trying to sleep my way to the top
of a career that never took place”.
It is difficult to overstate the power Cosby
wielded at the height of his fame. His
groundbreaking early stand-up earned him
a role in the 1960s television series I Spy,
making him the first major black star on
US television. And then there was his run
as family man Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby
Show, one of the most successful tv shows
of the 1980s. Married to his wife Camille
for 50 years, Cosby was thought of until
recently as one of the few unimpeachable
figures in American public life. A public
relations expert once famously said: “ The
three most believable personalities are God,
Walter Cronkite, and Bill Cosby.”
Cosby has directly addressed the
allegations against him in public just once,
in a 2005 inter view with the National
Enquirer. Of his alleged assault on
Constand, he said: “I am not going to give
in to people who try to exploit me because
of my celebrity status.”
He went on: “Looking back on it, I
realise that words and actions can be
misinterpreted by another person ... I’m
not saying that what I did was wrong, but I
apologise to my loving wife, who has stood
by my side for all these years, for any pain
I have caused her. These allegations have
caused my family great emotional stress.”
In a radio interview broadcast by NPR
last weekend, the comedian silently shook
his head when asked about the allegations.
Pressed on the issue during his exchange
with AP, Cosby said simply: “ There is no
comment about that.”
Cosby’s lawyer, John Schmitt, released
a statement last weekend, describing the
women’s allegations as “decade-old ” and
“discredited ”, and adding: “Mr Cosby does
not intend to dignify these allegations with
Following the broadcast of Dickinson’s
inter view, Marty Singer, another lawyer
acting for Cosby, wrote to journalists to
condemn her claims as “fabricated” and “an
outrageous defamatory lie”.
Why has nobody taken legal action
Actually, Constand did just that — but
when she made her allegations against
Cosby back in 2005, the investigating
district attorney said there was not enough
evidence to pursue criminal charges.
That is when she filed her civil complaint
against the comedian, asking for at least
$US150,000 ($NZ190,290) in damages.
The suit was eventually settled out of
court, the terms of the settlement were
not disclosed, and the 13 women who had
offered to act as witnesses were never called
It is extremely unlikely that legal action
could be taken against Cosby for any of
the other alleged incidents, at least in part
thanks to the statute of limitations on cases
of sexual assault that pertain in most US
So these allegations cannot be examined?
Perhaps not in a court of law. But he is
certainly being punished in other ways,
whether he deser ves to be or not.
The streaming ser vice Netflix has
indefinitely postponed the release of the
comic’s latest stand-up special, Bill
Cosby, which had been due to debut
on-line on November 28.
NBC, the network that broadcast The
Cosby Show, has scrapped a planned
new sitcom starring Cosby. And the TV
Land channel has cancelled its scheduled
Thanksgiving marathon of The Cosby
At 77, and on the verge of a late career
renaissance, Cosby may instead be forced
to retreat from the limelight for good.
A so-called Japanese “ black widow ”
suspected of killing numerous partners
for money, was still on the hunt for an
“ unattached elderly man with assets” when
her fourth husband was poisoned with
cyanide, reports say.
Chisako Kakehi, 67, who was arrested
this week on suspicion of murdering her
75-year-old spouse, has received 1 billion
yen ($NZ10.8m) in insurance and other
payouts over 10 years following the deaths
of husbands and lovers, media said.
But the former bank worker, who held
the money in more than 10 different
accounts under several different names,
had lost most of the cash in bad bets
on the futures markets, the Yomiuri
newspaper reported on Saturday.
In a case that has gripped Japan for days,
the Asahi newspaper reported Kakehi had
been involved with more than 10 men
over the past two decades, of whom six
Most of the men had been found
through marriage agencies, where she
would look for partners who had land or
property, but no children, the paper quoted
investigation sources as saying.
Soon after Isao Kakehi — her fourth and
most recent husband — died in December
2013, she was on the prowl for a new
companion, it said.
She wanted the man to be “elderly”
and “living alone”, the paper said, citing
an investigator. She also made remarks
suggesting that “it would be better if he
has an illness”.
Kakehi — dubbed a “ black widow ” by
some media for the female spider that eats
its mate after coupling — has said she had
serial relationships because she wanted
peace of mind.
“I want to lead a peaceful life in my old
age without scrambling for money but
by relying on a decent man,” she told the
private NTV network last month.
She inherited money from some of her
unmarried partners as she had notary
documents saying they would leave their
money to her.
Giving her such documents was “the
minimum, necessary way of expressing
their sincerity”, she said.
Over the course of several doomed
relationships, Kakehi had inherited
hundreds of millions of yen in real estate,
bank deposits and insurance money, Jiji
But she had racked up debts of 10
million yen by the time she married Isao
Kakehi in November last year, Jiji Press
said. He was dead the following month.
The nuptials did not stop her courting
other men, Jiji said, reporting that she had
arranged a “marriage meeting” with an
older man shortly after she took her vows.
The Nikkan Sports Daily said she was
in relationships with several other men
around the time of her fourth husband’s
She was registered at a number of
marriage agencies in western Japan using
different names and said she was looking
for an “unattached elderly man with
certain assets”, the paper reported.
Police who raided her home in Kyoto
on Friday found traces of cyanide in the
rubbish, media said.
They also found paraphernalia for
administering drugs and medical books at
an apartment she kept south of Kyoto.
Detectives began their investigation after
an autopsy on husband No 4 revealed
cyanide in his blood.
The post-mortem examination came
after the September death of a 75-year-old
boyfriend, who fell suddenly ill after the
couple ate together at a restaurant.
Kakehi’s dalliance with death began in
1994 when her first husband passed away
at the age of 54, although there is so far no
suggestion she was involved in his death.
In 2006, her second husband died of a
stroke aged 69, while the third marriage
ended in 2008 with the death of her
75-year-old partner, according to Jiji.
A boyfriend, believed to have been
suffering from some form of cancer, died
a year later, and in 2012 her then-fiance
met his fate after collapsing while riding a
Kakehi denies any involvement in the
deaths. — AFP
4 - Tuesday, November 25, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
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Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1568 - Inquiry into conduct of Mary Queen of
Scots reopens at Westminster.
1783 - The British evacuate New York, their
last military position in the United States during
the War of Independence.
1884 - Evaporated milk patented by John
Mayenberg of St Louis, Missouri.
1911 - Chinese revolutionaries
1963 - The body of US President
John F Kennedy is laid to rest at
Arlington National Cemetery.
1972 - Labour Party in New
Zealand unexpectedly sweeps into
power in general elections.
1973 - Greece’s President George
Papadopoulos is ousted in military coup.
1993 - Anthony Burgess, British author of the
grim futuristic fantasy A Clockwork Orange,
dies at age 76.
2000 - Slobodan Milosevic wins re-election as
leader of Serbia’s Socialist Party and denounces
the mass uprising that forced him from power
in a coup.
2001 - US company Advanced Cell
Technology becomes the first organisation to
successfully clone a human embryo.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Karl Benz, German car manufacturer (1844-
1929); Joe DiMaggio, US baseball player
(1914-1999); Augusto Pinochet,
former Chilean president (1915-
2006); Paul Desmond, American
jazz musician (1924-1977); Imran
Khan, Pakistani cricketer (1952-);
John F Kennedy Jr (1960-1999);
Christina Applegate, US actress
(1971-); Barbara and Jenna Bush,
twin daughters of George W and Laura Bush
“ To be free is to have achieved your life.”
— Tennessee Williams, American playwright
“ Faith is being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see ... By faith we
understand that the universe was formed at
God’s command, so that what is seen was not
made out of what was visible.”
— Hebrews 11:1,3
West Coast ’s
prospects for the
television advanced on
several fronts today. News that the establishment
of a second channel to give alternative
programmes to areas already ser viced would
take second place to the extension of television
to regions not now serviced, was greeted with
satisfaction in West Coast centres today. This is
expected to considerably shorten the estimated
time for the provision of a repeater station to
bring tv to Westland.
In advance of this overall development,
Hokitika expects to obtain satisfactory television
reception before Christmas by means of a
translator. It is not yet known whether this will
transmit a satisfactory signal to Greymouth, but
some doubt has been expressed.
Equipped with the most modern machinery
of its kind in the South Island, the new flax mill
at Camerons has commenced operations. All of
the machinery is fully automatic, controlled by a
push-button system. It is capable of processing
up to 12 tons of flax in an eight-hour day. This
amount gives a yield of one and a half tons of
The manager of the mill, Mr A W Wadsworth,
said that the flax processed at the factory,
situated on the south bank of the New River,
would be sent by rail to Foxton where the final
stages of the processing will be undertaken.
The first flax mill to be built on the West
Coast for a number of years, the Camerons
factory will be operating continuously. It will
take five years to cut out each crop in the flax
uFood for thought
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Japan’s ‘black widow’ hunting for fifth hubby
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