Bill Cosby Cancels Boston Performances, Citing Weather

Bill Cosby cancelled his stand-up performances where he could have faced a hostile audience in the City of Boston on Sunday.

Cosby Defamation Lawsuit

A former fashion model and actress who appeared on one episode of "The Cosby Show" in 1987 is the latest of several women to accuse Bill Cosby of making unwanted sexual advances toward them.

Helen Gumpel, formerly known as Helen Selby, said Sunday that Cosby made sexual advances and lewd gestures toward her while she was on the set of the show.

She said she was called to the show's set for what she thought was another audition shortly after filming the one episode. She said she was brought to Cosby's dressing room and Cosby had her sit on a couch and handed her a drink. She said Cosby then stood in front of her with his crotch in her face.

"I never thought of myself as a victim because I refused his advances," Gumpel said. "But my career was a victim."

A Cosby spokesman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The 77-year-old entertainer faces sexual assault accusations from at least 15 women. He denies the allegations and has never been charged with a crime.

Gumpel, who lives in Connecticut with her husband, made the allegations at a news conference she held at a downtown Boston hotel hours after Cosby canceled back-to-back comedy shows scheduled that evening at the nearby Wilbur Theater. Demonstrators had threatened to protest outside the theater.

Cosby, who has a home in western Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe he canceled the shows because of impending "treacherous" weather. The New England forecast called for a winter storm with nearly two feet of snow in the Boston area through Tuesday.

Cosby released a statement through his public relations firm to explain the cancellation:

"Dear Fans: I was looking forward to hearing your wonderful applause and seeing all those smiling faces. Due to weather advisories reporting the continuation of snow and possible sleet as well as the late hours of my shows -- I have decided to cancel for your travel safety. No need to worry, I will be back soon to raise the roof with laughter. I thank you, the theatre staff (Wilbur Theatre), the event organizers and the Boston Community for your love and support. Don't forget I said, I will be back soon. Hey, Hey, Hey -- I'm Far From Finished."

Since the accusations emerged last year, some of Cosby's performances elsewhere have drawn heckling and protests and some have been canceled.

The Wilbur Theater announced on its website Sunday morning that the shows were canceled but did not say why. It apologized for the abrupt change and said tickets would be refunded.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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