Officials At New York's Fordham University Have Rescinded The Honorary Degree They Awarded To Bill Cosby 15 Years Ago.
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In light of The Cosby Show star's ongoing alleged sexual assault scandal, the Board of Trustees at the university unanimously voted to take back the title they gave him 2001, in honour of his contribution to enhancing black representation in American television.
They specifically based their decision on the leaked 2005 deposition from a sex assault lawsuit, which was made public in July (15) - a testimony in which Cosby confessed to obtaining multiple prescriptions for Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.
Fordham President Joseph M. MCShane sent a letter to students and faculty staff on Thursday (24Sep15), noting this instance is the first time an honorary degree has been rescinded in the school's history and adding, "a recipient’s actions would have to be both unambiguously dishonorable and have a deep impact."
His letter continues: "The University has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby's now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him.
"By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing. Equally appalling is his longtime strategy of denigrating the reputations of women who accused him of such actions.
"That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women’s reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale.”
Fordham, a Jesuit university, is not the first school to cut ties with Cosby amid the sex scandal - he previously had to resign from advisory boards at his alma maters, while officials at Ohio's Central State University and New York University have also removed Cosby's name from their various buildings.
Cosby has been accused of drugging and/or raping numerous women over a 20-year period. More than 50 women have come forward with sexual complaints against the comedian in the past year. Cosby has never been charged with any sex crime.
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