Protesters were drawn to a Bill Cosby performance outside the Buell Theater in downtown Denver, Colorado. Those who supported the women who made allegations against the comedian claiming he drugged, then sexually assaulted them, numbered about 100. They shouted “Shame on you!” and “Rape supporters!” at ticket holders as they waited in line.
Earlier in the day, attorney Gloria Allred held a rally at Denver’s Crawford Hotel in support of Beth Ferrier and other victims. The “Teach In and Speak Out” event was attended by about 75 women and men.
Ferrier, 55, said Cosby drugged her in 1986 when she attended one of his shows in Denver. She also stated she had a consensual relationship with the comedian prior to the assault, but when she decided to break it off is when he drugged assaulted her.
Allred chose the strategic Denver location because of its significance and the two shows Cosby was scheduled to perform on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 18.
“It’s an important day because Bill Cosby has the chutzpah – the guts – to come to Denver, of all places, to perform and to treat these allegations as a joke.”
When Cosby, 77, appeared for his 5 p.m. show, he called out, “Hey, Hey, Hey,” the familiar opening of the Fat Albert cartoon and wore a hoodie with the words “hello friend” on the front. Supporters cheered in a 2,900 seat theater with approximately 1,800 filled seats.
No protesters chanted inside the theater, and if the scandal had not been in the news since November, it appeared as though accusations had never been made. Cosby made no mention of them, but said fans were brave.
“I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful.”
Fans welcomed Cosby to the stage by shouting, “We love you, Bill!”
Reportedly, Steevy Griffin, 28, waved a sign that read: “We believe the women.”
“I came out to be a voice… These victims aren’t coming forward, because they’re scared. We’re here to let them know that we support them.”
Robert Belveal, 48, of Denver, said the protesters could not stop him from attending.
“I believe that if you’re not convicted of a crime, then why should you be judged? All it takes is for one person to say something, then you have all these other people wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame.”
Cosby, known as the almost perfect father on the 1980s hit sitcom, The Cosby Show, has never been charged with a crime but more than 15 women have accused him of drugging then sexually assaulting them. Allegations date back to the 1960s and Allred said more women will come forward.
About 25 protesters and demonstrators also gathered outside a Pueblo, Colorado show on Friday chanting, “No means no.”