Saturday November 22, 2014

Bill Cosby should have gone down as a loser
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By Andrea Peyser
November 20, 2014

Bill Cosby should have gone down as a loser

How does Bill Cosby sleep at night?

Before the reputation of the 77-year-old comedian, author and Jell-O Pudding pitchman hit rock bottom, there was Autumn Jackson.

Before Cosby was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a passel of women — I think the number is up to at least 17, but I stink at math — Jackson cried out that this man was her father. And Cosby treated the young lady like roadkill.

Jackson and the guy who played the genial Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show’’ had a reunion of sorts in 1997. In a depressing trial in New York City, Jackson, then 22, faced Cosby, who’d just turned 60, in Manhattan federal court. The married father of five acknowledged kids had admitted in an interview that he’d enjoyed a “rendezvous’’ with Jackson’s mother. And Cosby, who all but said that he was, at best, a lousy husband and, at worst, a rank hypocrite, testified that he paid the mother and daughter $100,000 over the years to keep his image-crushing extramarital affair a secret.

In the end, Cosby won slobbering applause from starstruck jurors who convicted Jackson of extortion, conspiracy and crossing state lines to commit a crime — she threatened to sell a story of his possible paternity to a supermarket tabloid if he failed to fork over $40 million.

That is, Autumn Jackson threatened to tell what she believed to be the truth.

A judge sentenced her to 26 months in federal prison. Jackson then gave birth while doing time in a halfway house to twin boys by husband Antonay Williams, who pleaded guilty himself to charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting an extortion, but served just five years’ probation after ratting out Jackson. Thus ended a case that was the shame of this city.

We never learned if Cosby is her father.

“I’m reading all these Cosby stories and I’m saying, ‘Andrea was right,’ ” Robert Baum, Jackson’s federal public defender, told me this week. “You were one of the few journalists who didn’t think Cosby was the victim.

“When I was preparing for trial, I received calls from women who said they, too, had had sexual relations with Cosby,’’ said Baum. “They didn’t say they were raped. I didn’t think it was relevant to my case.’’ Of course, Cosby has been wed to his poor, suffering wife, Camille, since 1964, which might make these claims relevant to her.

Cosby’s carefully crafted public facade started crashing down around his ears last month, when comedian Hannibal Buress trashed Cosby for lecturing black men to be responsible dads — he wrote a book called “Fatherhood’’ for goodness’ sake — even as allegations swirled for years that he sexually attacked women.

“Pull up your pants, black people,’’ Burress cracked during a standup comedy show in Philadelphia. “Yes, but you raped women, Bill Cosby.’’

Then women started speaking out, claiming that they were drugged and sexually violated by the star. One of Cosby’s lawyers, John Schmitt, put out a statement calling rape claims “decade-old, discredited allegations.’’ Then lawyers for Cosby and Andrea Costand dialed back the blanket denial, acknowledging that Cosby in 2006 reached a settlement with Costand over a sexual-assault claim she filed against him. When I reached Schmitt on the phone, he hung up on me.

This past Tuesday, former supermodel Janice Dickinson, now 59, said on the syndicated TV show “Entertainment Tonight’’ that Cosby gave her a pill and raped her in 1982. One of his lawyers, Martin Singer, called the claim a “lie.” Also on Tuesday, Autumn Jackson’s mom, Cosby’s one-time mistress Shawn Brown, now 61, told the TV show “Inside Edition’’ that she believed that the entertainer drugged and raped her — nine months before she gave birth to her daughter.

Tuesday night, Netflix postponed indefinitely the streaming of a special, “Bill Cosby 77,’’ which had been set to premiere Nov. 28. On Wednesday, NBC scrapped a sitcom it had in development with Cosby. The TV Land network dropped plans to air reruns of “The Bill Cosby Show.’’

When I spoke to Autumn Jackson in 1999, she told me that if she could speak to Cosby, she’d tell him, “I’d like to apologize for all [you have] gone through.’’ She held out the hope that he would one day seek a relationship with her. “If not for me, for my sons.’’ The sons that she believes, to this day, are Cosby’s grandchildren.

She’ll have to wait a long time.

Read Full Column on NYPOST.com

Andrea Peyser



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Adrian, stop running – from the truth

Some common sense from the National Football League: Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been suspended without pay for at least the rest of the 2014-15 season.

Peterson, 29, was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a felony charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child after he beat his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch, but he pleaded no contest this month to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault. A judge did not sentence him to spend even a minute behind bars.

Peterson has drawn his $11.75 million base salary since September, when he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, a kind of paid vacation. But he’s not pleased that the money stream could be drying up and is appealing the suspension with the help of the players union — which means, for the time being, he’ll stay on the get-paid-not-to-play list.

Peterson should take his lumps and pray for his son’s forgiveness.

Al revs rumor mill

Without anyone asking, the Rev. Al Sharpton denied at an unrelated news conferencethat he is the pop of the 17-year-old son of his ex-aide Rachel Noerdlinger.

This week Noerdlinger, hired as the $170,000 chief of staff to Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, announced that she was taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job after her son, Khari, was busted on charges of trespassing in a New York City apartment building. Last summer, The Post investigated allegations made by City Hall insiders that Noerdlinger’s son was Sharpton’s kin. “I would never have been with the rev, especially when he was fat,’’ she said at the time.

But after Sharpton’s denial Wednesday, Noerdlinger sent an e-mail message to a Post reporter, saying that she’d first met Sharpton about three years after Khari Noerdlinger was born.
“I will not entertain any more questions about my son’s father because it is intrusive, sexist, libelous and defamatory to suggest that someone I did not know when my son was born is his father.’’

That should put an end to it.

One nupside for Manson

The Manson Family is set to welcome a new member. Serial killer Charles Manson hastaken out a marriage license and plans to wed Afton Elaine Burton, a groupie who goes by the name “Star’’ and is 26 to Manson’s 80. The monster was convicted of conspiring to commit the 1969 murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate, wife of director Roman Polanski, crimes carried out by his “family’’ of ghoulish disciples. But it’s unlikely that little Mansons will be produced.

The would-be bridegroom is not eligible for conjugal visits.

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Andrea Peyser is a columnist for the New York Post, writing on the social and political issues important to Americans.

Her commentary has brought her awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Columnist of the Year from the New York State Associated Press for 2005.

 

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