Bill Cosby Statue Removed From Disney World, Company Distances Itself From Rape-Accused Comedian

Bill Cosby has had his bronze statue removed from the Hollywood Studios park at Walt Disney World on Tuesday night, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Walt Disney officials confirmed to AP that the bust of a smiling Bill Cosby was removed after the park closed for the night.

Several petitions had been going around for months before the removal of the Cosby statue, which stood alongside notable TV legends at the Disney Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza.

Cosby's statue stood alongside TV celebrities like Lucille Ball, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Newhart, and Andy Griffith. Cosby is best known for his work on The Bill Cosby Show, where he played lovable father and doctor, Cliff Huxtable. The Cosby Show ran from 1984 to 1992. Since the allegations have become public, Cosby Show reruns have been pulled from multiple networks, including TV Land, Bounce TV, and Centric.The calls for the statue removals were triggered by rape accusations that have been filed against Cosby.

"The Disney name is synonymous with family-friendly entertainment and with Mr. Cosby in the media daily facing accusations of sexual assault with the number of victims ever-climbing, it is inappropriate for Disney Parks to have a replica of Mr. Cosby's likeness on display," read one of the petitions.

On Monday, unsealed court documents released by the Associated Press revealed that Cosby admitted to obtaining Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with. He also admitted to giving Qualudes to at least one woman. The documents were records of a deposition that Cosby had given when a sexual abuse lawsuit was filed against him by Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. She was the first woman to file a lawsuit against Cosby for sexual abuse. The suit was settled in 2006 for a sum that has never been disclosed. Since that time, more than a dozen women have come forward and accused Cosby of sexual assault.

In the deposition, Cosby testified that he had purchased quaaludes in the 1970s, according to the AP. Cosby then admits that he gave Constand three half-pills of Benadryl. Two other women, who testified on her behalf in the suit, claimed Cosby had given them quaaludes.

Cosby was never criminally charged, and most of the accusations exceed the statutes of limitations.

These new revelations have caused some celebrities who previously supported Bill to backtrack their statements. Jill Scott, who had supported Cosby in the past, claimed to be shocked in a series of tweets posted on Monday.

Other celebrities are standing by him, however. Whoopi Goldberg stated that despite what he said in his depostition, Bill Cosby has never been convicted of a crime.

Bill Cosby has not made any comments on the unsealed court documents since they were first reported on Monday.

[Image by David A. Smith / Stringer / Getty Images]