Looking back at the sexual harassment media stories that dominated coverage this year
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) – The allegations of sexual harassment of more than three dozen women by film producer Harvey Weinstein caused a media firestorm that asked a greater question about how women are treated in the workplace.
No long after, actress Alyssa Milano started the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter that went viral. Many women both in and out of the entertainment industry shared personal stories of sexual harassment through social media.
Here is a look back at some of the sexual harassment accusations that dominated the media coverage this past year.
Bill Cosby – (2004)
In early 2004, Andrea Constand accuses Bill Cosby of sexual assault, she claimed the alleged incident took place at his home in Pennsylvania. She then files a civil suit against Cosby in 2005. By 2006 the civil suit with Constant is settled.
Ten years later, Comedian Hannibal Burress calls Cosby a rapist during a stand-up performance.
“People think I’m making it up. I’m like ‘Bill Cosby has a lot of rape allegations,’ (they reply back) ‘No, you do’ ….That sh*t is upsetting, if you didn’t know about it trust me. Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’”
In November 2014, Barbara Bowman pens an essay for The Washington Post claiming she was raped by Cosby. In addition, Joan Tarshis accuses Cosby of two sexual assault incidents in 1969 when she was 19. Later that same month, Janice Dickinson claims during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" she was also drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982.
(Warning: This video contains strong adult language and may be disturbing to some viewers)
National Public Radio then interviewed Cosby and his wife about an art collection they donated to the Smithsonian Museum. NPR host Scott Simon questioned Cosby about the allegations made against him. However, Cosby did not respond vocally and Simon just narrated his actions stating he was “shaking his head no.”
More women come forward accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct, several opening a defamation suit against him. In July 2015, court documents reveal Cosby admitted to obtaining Quaaludes to give to women he was interested in having sex with. The district attorney in Pennsylvania reopens the Constand case considering the new information. Cosby then files a counter defamation suit in December against seven of the women who made allegations against him. He is formally charged with sexually assaulting Constand and released from jail on $1 million bail.
On May 16, 2017, Bill Cosby interviews with Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM and explains he will not testify during his criminal trial.
“I decided that I think it’s time for me to do something so that the people who still have faith in me, the people who are still wondering what I sound like as opposed to The National Enquirer, which is very interesting reading when they write about me," Cosby said.
The following month on June 17, 2017, Cosby’s aggravated indecent assault case results in a mistrial.
Roger Ailes (July 2016)
On July 6, 2016, Fox News Channel anchor, Gretchen Carlson, files a lawsuit against Chairman and CEO of the network, Roger Ailes. The same day she also announces her departure from the channel.
“Ms. Carlson, the Former co-host of “Fox & Friends,” was terminated on June 23 – the very day her latest contract expired, even though her current program, “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson,” was the leading cable news show in its afternoon timeslot,” according to a statement. “Her complaint alleges that the firing was the ultimate retaliation against her after she rebuffed Mr