09 July 2015
More than a dozen women have recently accused comedian Bill Cosby of having sexually assaulted them at various times in the past 46 years, and it now appears that at least some of the allegations are valid. None of his actual and purported victims have taken him to criminal court, though, and this seems to be a part of a disturbing trend. 20 years ago, as you probably can recall, former professional athlete O. J. Simpson was tried for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend; he was acquitted, but a civil court subsequently held him responsible for the deaths, and he was required to pay millions of dollars in damages. A decade later, history repeated itself in the case of actor Robert Blake (who had played the title rôle on the television series Baretta), except that he was accused of shooting only one person, to whom he was still married. (Some wit made the remark that “If you kill your wife in Hollywood, you don’t go to prison, but you have to pay a fine.”) At about the same time that Blake survived prosecution, Andrea Constand became the first person to publicly say that Cosby drugged and violated her; rather than press charges against him, however, she brought a lawsuit, which he settled before it could go to trial. Likewise, Judy Huth hasn’t even attempted to get him convicted of his reputed offense against her, but is instead pursuing litigation. Do these women, remembering Simpson and Blake, lack faith in our criminal-justice system? Or is their true goal to get rich by suing a typically overpaid celebrity of popular culture?