LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Camille Cosby, the wife of comedian Bill Cosby, on Monday defended her husband from weeks-long accusations brought by more than a dozen women alleging that the ground-breaking entertainer sexually assaulted them decades ago.
"He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend," Camille Cosby said in the 210-word statement released by Cosby's publicist. "He is the man you thought you knew."
It is Camille Cosby's first public statements since the wave of accusations began last month causing networks to shelve projects with The Cosby Show Star and several of his standup comedy shows getting cancelled.
Camille Cosby, who married Bill Cosby in 1964, called her husband "the man you all knew through his work" and blamed the news media for not vetting her husband's accusers.
"None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim," she continued. "But the question should be asked - who is the victim?"
In her statement, she referenced a recent discredited Rolling Stone magazine story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.
Cosby, the trail-blazing African-American comic best known as the wholesome Dr Cliff Huxtable on the long-running, top-rated television series The Cosby Show, has never been charged.
He was sued this month for allegedly sexually molesting a California woman, Ms Judy Huth, as a minor at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.
Cosby's attorney, Mr Marty Singer, has called the suit meritless and alleges the 77-year-old comedian is a target of extortion.
Spelman College, a historically black women's college in Atlanta, on Monday suspended a visiting professor programme named after Cosby, who has also resigned as a trustee from his alma mater Temple University.
Cosby settled a 2005 civil suit that alleged sexual misconduct. Most of the claims against Cosby, which date as far back as the 1960s, have surpassed the statute of limitations for either civil or criminal charges.
On Sunday, Cosby gave a brief interview with the New York Post, disparaging the news media and praising his wife.
The most high-profile of Cosby's accusers is model Janice Dickinson, who alleges Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1982. Model Beverly Johnson alleges Cosby drugged her in the mid-1980s.
Mr Singer has called allegations of sexual assault"discredited" and "defamatory." Another accuser, Ms Tamara Green, has sued Cosby for defamation.