Bill Cosby biography loses celebrity blurbs, won’t be published in paperback

Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theater in Denver in January.

Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theater in Denver in January.

(Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)

A biography of Bill Cosby published last year has lost several celebrity endorsements after a flurry of new allegations of sexual assault against the comedian by dozens of women and the publication of a deposition in which he admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he sought to have sex with. It also will not be released in paperback.

Mark Whitaker’s “Cosby: His Life and Times” was published in September 2014, a month before comedian Hannibal Buress brought attention to past charges against Cosby in a stand-up comedy set, which is widely believed to have refocused attention on the comedian’s past. Dozens of new accusations against Cosby followed the set.

Now, Simon & Schuster, which published the biography, has removed several blurbs by celebrities who apparently requested that their endorsements be removed. They include Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Wynton Marsalis and Jerry Seinfeld.


The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported about the removal of the blurbs, reprinted Seinfeld’s endorsement, which read: “I know certain religions forbid idol worship. If anyone ever told me I had to stop idolizing Bill Cosby, I would say, ‘Sorry, but I’m out of this religion.’ So if you want to join the Religion of Cosby, as I did back in 1966, Mark Whitaker’s wonderful new book would be our Bible.”

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Simon & Schuster also told the Associated Press that Whitaker’s biography would not be issued in paperback, but would not be pulled entirely. The biography was criticized after its publication for not dealing with the sexual assault allegations against the comedian, which had been circulating for years.

The book has an average of three stars on Amazon, with several readers giving it either one star (the lowest possible rating) or five stars (the highest). One angry reader wrote, “Writing a life of Cosby without tackling the charges against him of rape and abuse is like writing about Nixon without touching Watergate.”

The most recent controversy over Cosby has focused on testimony he made in a deposition 10 years ago, in which he admitted to giving prescription sedatives to women he was trying to have sex with.

On Wednesday the California Supreme Court denied a petition from Cosby to review a civil lawsuit filed against him by a woman who says she was molested by the comedian in the 1970s at the Playboy Mansion.

The decision clears the way for another possible deposition of Cosby, this time by Gloria Allred, the attorney who is representing the woman.