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Lawyer: Woman accuses Cosby of 'inappropriate touching'


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Bill Cosby

(CNN) -- A former Temple University employee has accused Bill Cosby of "inappropriate touching," the comedian's lawyer said Thursday.

Walter M. Phillips Jr., Cosby's attorney, said no criminal complaint has been filed against his client, and he called the allegation "utterly preposterous" and "plainly bizarre."

Cosby, 67, is a Philadelphia native and Temple University graduate who still has a home in the area. Cosby's accuser was an "acquaintance" of the comedian, Phillips said.

The woman, who lives in Canada, initially raised the matter with police in Durham, Ontario, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Toronto.

Phillips said the woman is accusing Cosby of inappropriately touching her in January 2004.

Police in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, to whom the allegation was referred, refused comment Thursday night. Phillips said police have not asked to speak to Cosby, and he was confident his client would be cleared.

Cosby has canceled some upcoming speaking appearances, citing "personal reasons," his publicist told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The comedian has made waves in recent months by accusing African-Americans of tolerating poor parenting, juvenile delinquency and coarse language among themselves.

Cosby made his name as a stand-up comedian with stories about growing up in Philadelphia.

He was the first black man to star in a drama series on American television, winning three Emmys for "I Spy." He voiced several characters on "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" in the 1970s, and later starred in the comedies "The Cosby Show" and "Cosby."

By the time "The Cosby Show" went into syndication in 1987, Cosby was receiving half of the show's profits.

Cosby also has authored four books.

In 1988, he and his wife of 41 years, Camille, donated $20 million to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, the biggest single contribution ever made to a black college.

The actor experienced great personal loss in the late 1990s.

In January 1997, his only son, Ennis, was robbed and murdered on a Los Angeles highway after he stopped to fix a flat tire. A 19-year-old Ukrainian immigrant was convicted of the crime.

The same day Ennis was slain, a Southern California woman named Autumn Jackson alleged that she was Cosby's illegitimate daughter. She and an accomplice had threatened to expose the story to the media unless they received $40 million dollars from Cosby.

Cosby, who acknowledged he had an affair with Jackson's mother and had paid her not to disclose it, denied he was Autumn Jackson's father.

In 2002, President Bush awarded Cosby the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


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