US & Canada

Bill Cosby: Navy honorary title revoked

Actor Bill Cosby appeared in New York on 15 November 2014 Image copyright Reuters

The US Navy has revoked Bill Cosby's honorary title, claiming allegations of sexual abuse against him are in conflict with its core values.

The honorary title of chief petty officer was bestowed on Cosby in 2011.

He enlisted in 1956 and served four years as a hospital corpsman before being honourably discharged in 1960 as a 3rd Class Petty Officer.

Mr Cosby, 77, is facing a series of renewed allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted over a dozen women.

He has not been charged in connection with any of the allegations, which his lawyers have described as "discredited" and "defamatory".

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Stevens announced the decision to revoke the honour on Thursday.

It is the latest blow for the comedian, who one day earlier was urged by lawyer Gloria Allred to waive the statute of limitations to allow women alleging he sexually abused them to "obtain justice".

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Media captionGloria Allred called on Bill Cosby to waive his rights under the statute of limitations: ''Everybody wins''

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Ms Allred said many of the alleged victims had contacted her to determine what legal rights they had.

"Unfortunately, I had to tell them it was too late for them to file a lawsuit against Bill Cosby because of the statute of limitations - for most women it is simply too late to have their day in court," she told reporters.

Earlier this week, another woman filed a lawsuit against Mr Cosby over allegations of sexual assault when she was under-age - said to be the first such claim to come to light.

Judy Huth says she was 15 when she was molested by the comedian at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. As she was minor at the time, her case can still be heard.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Bill Cosby served in the Navy for four years

Also this week, Cosby resigned from the board of trustees of Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was once a student.

Several broadcasters have also shelved projects with Mr Cosby, including NBC and Netflix.

Two of his performances scheduled for the weekend at a venue in the north of New York were cancelled on Wednesday.

Nearly half of the audience of the show in Tarrytown had reportedly requested refunds.

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