Los Angeles police are investigating the vandalism of comedian Bill Cosby's star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was marked with the word “rapist,” officials said.
A photo of the vandalism surfaced on social media Friday morning, showing “rapist” scrawled across the star three times in marker. By midmorning, a cleaning crew was on scene.
Ana Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which helps oversee the Walk of Fame, said she became aware of the incident Friday morning. Martinez said the chamber also filed a police report.
“The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees,” Martinez said in a statement. “When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark.”
“The star is being cleaned up at this time,” the statement ended.
LAPD Capt. David Storaker, who oversees the LAPD’s Hollywood patrol, confirmed a crime report was taken.
Cosby, 77, has faced backlash in recent weeks amid mounting allegations from multiple women that he sexually assaulted them decades ago.
Cosby was given a star on the Walk of Fame in November 1977, according to the Walk of Fame’s website. The webpage highlights his career as a stand-up comedian, television star and “sought-after spokesman.”
On Friday, two comments were posted to the webpage. “It’s time to remove it or paint it black,” one person wrote of Cosby’s star. “Rapist,” wrote another. “It should be spit on.”
The accusations against the comedian emerged about a decade ago, after a woman said in court that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her, then settled her lawsuit with Cosby. The allegations gained new momentum in October, when a comedian mocked Cosby’s fatherly image given the sexual assault accusations.
FULL COVERAGE: Bill Cosby sex assault allegations
This week, one woman filed a lawsuit against Cosby in Los Angeles. Judy Huth alleged the comedian assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15.
In a court filing, Cosby’s attorney described Huth’s accusations as “patently false.” The attorney, Martin D. Singer, argued that the case should be dismissed because it had passed the statute of limitations, the legal time limit for litigation.
But on Thursday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said his department was prepared to investigate any complaints brought to detectives about Cosby, even those that had passed the time limit for criminal prosecution.
“We don’t turn people away because things are out of statute. You come to us, especially with a sexual allegation, we will work with you,” Beck said. “We address these things seriously, and it’s not just because it’s Mr. Cosby.”