Jan 17, 2015 4:34 AM

Cosby set to take stage in Denver despite planned protest

The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) Embattled comedian Bill Cosby is set to take the stage in Denver on Saturday, despite a protest planned over sexual assault claims directed against him.

Cosby, 77, performed at a packed show in Pueblo without disruption on Friday and is slated for two shows in Denver, where protesters are expected outside the downtown venue. About 25 demonstrators gathered outside the Pueblo show, chanting "no means no" and "Colorado believes the women."

But inside the venue, the crowd warmly welcomed Cosby.

Making his first appearance in Pueblo since a 1996 show at the Colorado State Fair, the 77-year-old was embraced by a mostly middle-aged and older crowd.

The comedian is facing sexual assault allegations from more than 15 women, with some claims dating back decades. He has denied the allegations through his lawyer and has never been charged.

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred is planning a news conference with one of Cosby's alleged victims before the Denver shows. The gathering is billed as a "teach in" to explain why women are accusing Cosby and what the comedian's response has been.

On Thursday, Cosby released a statement thanking his fans and saying he's ready to perform in Colorado.

"I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful," he said. "I'm ready!"

He finished his statement with references to his "Fat Albert" character's trademark line and to his 2013 television special "Hey, Hey, Hey I'm Far From Finished."

Cosby's persistence comes after protesters interrupted a handful of his recent shows.

Hecklers stood up and chanted repeatedly "we believe the women" at Cosby's third and final performance of a Canadian tour Jan. 9. The protesters then marched out of the theater as Cosby asked his audience not to react.

The day before, a man at Cosby's performance in London, Ontario, called the comedian a rapist. The shows in Canada were the comedian's first since November when a string of performances were canceled over the accusations.

More recently, a model who claims Cosby drugged and sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008 met with Los Angeles police on Wednesday to pursue criminal charges. Chloe Goins' attorney said that his client is the first woman accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct whose case may fall within the statute of limitations.

Cosby's attorney, Martin D. Singer, said Friday the comedian was in New York the night Goins claims she was accosted.

Cosby is scheduled to continue his tour in Turlock, California on Sunday.


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