Bill Cosby, battling rape accusations, tweets thanks to fans

Cosby (centre) arrives at his arraignment on Dec 30, 2015.
Cosby (centre) arrives at his arraignment on Dec 30, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Disgraced TV legend Bill Cosby has tweeted his thanks to his 4.1 million followers, as he braces for more legal battles after being charged this week with felony sex assault.

"Friends and fans, Thank You," read the New Year's Eve Twitter message posted by the fallen comedy icon - his first public comments since appearing in a Pennsylvania court on Wednesday to hear the charge, one of dozens of sex abuse claims against him.

Cosby, 78, who posted a US$1 million (S$1.4 million) bond, has another court hearing on Jan 14.

More than 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually molesting or raping them - allegations the veteran TV and movie showman has vehemently denied.

The case Cosby was charged with this week relates to the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University in Philadelphia, his alma mater.

Constand says the television legend assaulted her at his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Cheltenham in 2004.

If found guilty, Cosby could face up to 10 years in prison and a US$25,000 fine.

 

Most of the other cases against the star occurred too long ago to prosecute, although seven alleged victims have jointly filed suit against him.

News reports said a federal judge in Massachusetts denied a motion brought by the actor's wife Camille Cosby to avoid giving testimony at a deposition in the joint suit.

Her attorneys, who argued in their motion that Mrs Cosby by law should not be subjected to questions regarding her husband's "sexual proclivities," told People magazine that they plan to appeal the ruling.