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Bill Cosby appears on stage amid swirl of controversy

ERIE, Pa. -- Bill Cosby kept a date to appear on a stage in Erie, Pennsylvania Sunday night despite the continuing uproar over allegations that he sexually assaulted several women in past decades, reports CBS Erie station WSEE-TV.

But he also kept his silence about the allegations, failing to mention them during his act.

A Cosby appearance on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" has been canceled. Cosby spokesman David Brokaw confirmed Friday night that Cosby would not appear next Wednesday as previously scheduled. He did not say why.

Another canceled engagement, on "The Queen Latifah Show" on Oct. 30, was characterized by that show as a postponement granted at Cosby's request.

The comedian's lawyer said Sunday he will not dignify "decade-old, discredited" claims of sexual abuse with a response, the first reaction from the comedian to the situation.

But Cosby showed up for a one-night show at Erie's Warner Theatre as scheduled.

The first half of the show was dedicated to his distinct memories growing up in the projects of Philadelphia, says WSEE.

"He's still a great comedian either way," Mattew White told the station. "Can't take that away from him, so we're here to laugh, anyway."

"He's innocent until proven guilty as far as I understand in the country," fan Paul Bard told WSEE. "Hopefully it doesn't come to fruition. He's a pretty large icon."

"A lot of people tend to make accusations hoping to get themselves a little lime light," Katie White says. "It's hard to really let that negatively affect your opinion when you don't know what really went on."

The allegations date back to a 2005 civil lawsuit that claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in his home.

Cosby denied the accusations, but more than a dozen other women with similar stories of assault were prepared to testify against him. The case was settled before it went to trial.

Now one of those witnesses is speaking out.

Actress Barbara Bowman wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, claiming Cosby assaulted her multiple times after agreeing to act as her mentor.

The headline read: "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"

Bowman told "CBS This Morning," "I was served a glass of wine. And the next thing I knew, I was hovering over the toilet bowl, on my knees in a white t-shirt that was not mine. It was a man's white t-shirt that I did not arrive in, and my panties. And I was completely sick."

"We're still collecting details on that, but in the coming weeks there will be a lot more people speaking and a lot more evidence to show," she added.

The standup comedian Hannibal Buress last month brought heat on Cosby at a performance in Philadelphia. His routine, during which he assailed Cosby as "a rapist," was captured on video and posted online, gaining wide exposure.

The 77-year-old Cosby, who was never criminally charged in any of the cases, settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident two years before.

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