Why Bill Cosby's Interview With the AP Was Released

He said, "I don't talk about it," when asked about sexual assault allegations.

November 20, 2014, 8:34 PM

— -- The Associated Press reporter who asked Bill Cosby about sex assault allegations against him by various women is defending the release of his interview despite Cosby's request that it not be used.

Brett Zongker told ABC News that, in light of the recent news, the AP found more significance to his Nov. 6 conversation with the comedian.

"In reviewing the full video of our interview, it seemed even more relevant now to show how he responded to being questioned about these allegations," Zongker said. "It’s not only about two more women coming forward. The news that drove our story yesterday [Wednesday] was also NBC cutting ties, Netflix had postponed a project with Cosby and TV Land has also stopped airing 'The Cosby Show,' so media companies cutting ties with Mr. Cosby has been an important part of this story in recent days [as well]."

In Zongker's Nov. 6 interview, Cosby, 77, said "there's no response," and, "I don't talk about it," when asked about the allegations. He also asked the AP reporter that his on-camera refusal to comment about the allegations not be used, saying, "I would appreciate it if it was scuttled."

Zongker told ABC News that the interview was scheduled through the Smithsonian Institute and was meant to focus on Cosby's contribution to an African Art exhibit at the National Mall. Toward the end of the interview, the AP changed the subject to the sexual assault allegations, and said that Cosby "cut me off right away."

"I kind of thought to myself, 'I would have no integrity if I didn’t ask these questions because these are serious allegations,'" Zongker said.

The video was released Wednesday after TV Land pulled planned repeats of "The Cosby Show" from its schedule and NBC and Netflix shelved projects with the comedian.

A TV Land spokesperson told ABC News the shows will stop airing immediately. The next airing was scheduled for Sunday.

A spokeswoman for NBC said the network's Cosby project was no longer in development, but offered no further comment.

A source close to the project added that it was still in its nascent stages. There was no delivered script and the project had not been green-lit to production.

David Brokaw, a representative for Cosby, couldn't be reached for comment about the decisions made by TV Land and NBC.

Netflix postponed the launch of a new Cosby stand-up comedy special, a spokesman with the streaming service told ABC News.

“Bill Cosby 77,” which was taped on Cosby’s 77th birthday in July, was scheduled to premiere on Netflix on Nov. 27, with a focus on topics such as marriage, relationships and children.

“At this time, we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special, ‘Bill Cosby 77,’” Netflix said in a statement.

“My client agrees with Netflix,” Brokaw said.

Cosby, who has never been criminally charged in connection with the allegations and has repeatedly denied them in the past, was first publicly accused of assault 10 years ago, in 2004. The allegations have gained attention in recent weeks as a number of women have come forward.

John P. Schmitt, Cosby's lawyer, posted a notice Sunday to the famed comedian's website, saying Cosby would not be addressing "decade-old, discredited allegations," even though some women have recently come forward for the first time publicly.

"The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true," Schmitt said in the statement. "There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."

Cosby declined to address the allegations in an interview with NPR posted Saturday, simply shaking his “head no,” interviewer Scott Simon said.

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