Bill Cosby faces a criminal charge for sexual assault

By Michele Corriston
Updated February 10, 2016 04:25 PM
Credit: Ryan Miller/Getty; Evan Vucci/AP

Malcolm-Jamal Warner is criticizing the media “circus” surrounding his mentor and onscreen father Bill Cosby, who stands accused of drugging and/or sexually assaulting more than 50 women over the past few decades.

Warner, 45, currently stars as O.J. Simpson‘s friend Al Cowlings – who sat behind the wheel during the infamous Bronco chase – on American Crime Story but found fame as Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984-92.

“The media has really helped make it such a big circus, and there are so many things that are thrown into the pot that things get really muddy,” Warner said Wednesday on SiriusXM’s Conversations with Maria Menounos. “And there are so many levels to what’s going on that people are led to believe one thing when it’s not as black or white as people think it may be.”

“It’s hard for people, because right now it’s painted as you have these 50 women, how can you believe one man over 50 women?” Menounos said.

“Right, sure. But what’s interesting, if you really look – and this is not in defense of him or throwing him under the bus – but … what we’re told is 50 women are accusing him of rape. That’s not true. Fifty women have not said that. So you have to break down the numbers of, okay – because some of the women are saying, ‘Well he talked to me inappropriately. He grabbed my wrist, you know, too long.’ … If you really look at it and break it down, it’s like, no, 50 women are not saying, “He raped me.’ ”

To be clear, the accusations against Cosby range from slipping drugs into women’s drinks, fondling, sexual assault and rape.

Warner has previously expressed concern about Cosby’s legacy being tarnished by the scandal.

“My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what … negative stereotypes of people of color, we’ve always had The Cosby Show to hold up against that,” he told the Associated Press in October. “And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me the most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairy tale.”

Cosby, 78, faces an aggravated indecent assault charge for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in his Pennsylvania home in 2004. Earlier this month, model Chloe Goins dropped a civil suit against the comedian stemming from an alleged assault at the Playboy Mansion, but seven other women are suing him for defamation.

Cosby has denied all the allegations through his attorney.