NASSAU, Bahamas – Bill Cosby took his comedy show on the road Thursday in the Bahamas as controversy surrounds him at home.
The 77-year-old entertainer performed in a small theater at the Atlantis resort in a benefit for a women's service organization, making no mention of the allegations of sexual assault by several women that have resurfaced in recent days.
Cosby stuck to his familiar routine of anecdotes about his life, including stories about his childhood growing up in the projects of Philadelphia and some observations about life in the Bahamas drawn from previous visits to the island chain.
There were few empty seats for the 90-minute set.
Several members of the audience, which included some prominent Bahamians who came to the fundraiser to support the Nassau chapter of The Links, had no trouble ignoring allegations that he drugged and sexually abused women.
"I think everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty," said Alfred Sears, an official with the College of the Bahamas and a former attorney general. "Tonight is for a cause, and I think that he has contributed to the cause. In terms of the other issues the court of law and the court of public opinion will deal with those issues."
Khaalis Rolle, a minister of state for investments, said he was pleased to see that people didn't stay away because it helped a local charity and Cosby deserved the benefit of the doubt. "You still have to account for the fact that they are just allegations," he said. "Nothing has been proven."
Cosby's attempt at a career comeback has been collapsing in recent days as the abuse allegations resurfaced. This week Netflix said it was postponing a comedy special it had planned with Cosby to air later this month, while NBC said it was stopping development of a sitcom with him and TV Land pulled reruns of "The Cosby Show." Also, High Point University in North Carolina removed Cosby's name from its board of advisers, the High Point Enterprise reported.
Cosby is scheduled to perform Friday in Melbourne, Florida.