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Bill Cosby Biographer Mark Whitaker Explains Why He Left Out Sexual Abuse Allegations

Bill Cosby has brought a lot of laughter to a lot of people, but not everything in his history is fun and games. Over the last decade or so, the comedian has been plagued by sexual abuse allegations from multiple women, none of which are mentioned in his new biography, Cosby: His Life and Times. Mark Whitaker, who wrote the book, sat down with HuffPost Live this week and explained why he opted to leave out the accusations, which some consider a crucial part of the actor’s story. 

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“I felt like I wanted to be able to independently confirm everything that was in this book,” Whitaker told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill, who said it was “somewhat shocking” that the sexual abuse claims had been omitted. 

Bill Cosby
Mark Whitaker, author of the new Bill Cosby biography Cosby: His Life and Times, explained to HuffPost Live why he decided not to include any of the sexual abuse allegations against the comedian in his book

“In these cases, there were no definitive court findings, there were no independent witnesses, and I just felt, at the end of the day, all I would be doing would be, ‘These people say this, Cosby denies it,'” the author continued. “And as not only a reporter but his biographer, if people asked me, ‘Well, what’s the truth? What do you think?’ I’d be in a position of saying ‘I don’t know.’ And I just felt uncomfortable.”

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Whitaker said, too, that he knew people were going to talk about the allegations regardless, and he didn’t want to contribute anything to the conversation that he couldn’t back up. “I didn’t want to be responsible for a lot of people repeating the allegations with no additional reporting, simply because I had put them in the book, when I myself wasn’t able to independently confirm,” he explained.

He added that he was in no way required to write only positive things about the star. In fact, he said he went into “considerable detail” about the star’s infidelity.

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“[The book] wasn’t his idea. It was my idea. He didn’t cooperate for an entire year,” Whitaker told Hill. “And when he did, I was under no obligation to follow his guidebook of what kind of book it would be. I felt an obligation to make sure that everything in the book was really accurate.”

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