Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, who was recently involved in a sexual assault trial which was declared a mistrial , was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide in his Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home. He was 80.
His death has been reported as “a suicide due to asphyxia.” Philadelphia police confirmed that Cosby committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope. Cosby was discovered by his wife and left no suicide note.
“Bill Cosby passed away this morning,” his reps said in a statement. “He had been battling sexual assault accusations which left him in a state of depression. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
William Henry Cosby Jr. (born July 12, 1937) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, musician, and author. His start in stand-up comedy began at the ‘hungry i’ in San Francisco; he then landed a starring role in the 1960s television show I Spy. He was also a regular on the children’s television series The Electric Company during the show’s first two seasons.
Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in a television sitcom, The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992 and was rated as the number one show in America for five years, 1984 through 1989. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family. Cosby produced the Cosby Show spin-off sitcom A Different World, which aired from 1987 to 1993, starred in The Cosby Mysteries from 1994 to 1995, starred in the sitcom Cosby from 1996 to 2000; and hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things for two seasons, from 1998 to 2000.
Cosby had been the subject of sexual assault allegations, the earliest of which date back decades; those allegations did not become highly publicized until 2014. More than sixty women have accused him of rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct.