NPR's Scott Simon on asking Bill Cosby about rape allegations: "I did not look at Mrs. Cosby"

The NPR host told CNN details about the interview

Published November 17, 2014 3:50PM (EST)

Scott Simon     (Twitter/Will O'Leary)
Scott Simon (Twitter/Will O'Leary)

On Sunday, NPR Host Scott Simon appeared on CNN's "New Day" to discuss his radio interview with comedian Bill Cosby.

Simon sat down with comedian Bill Cosby and his Wife Camille on Saturday to discuss donations they made to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Towards the end of the radio interview Simon asked Cosby about the rape allegations that have resurfaced in the last few weeks following a stand-up routine by Hannibal Buress and a social media campaign that brought up that Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting over a dozen women. Since then women have come forward accusing Cosby of rape.

From NPR:

"SCOTT SIMON: 'This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.'


SIMON: 'You're shaking your head no. I'm in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?'


SIMON: 'Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance.'


Simon told CNN that he and the NPR team were not told of any gag order or any other legal reason why Cosby wouldn't answer the question.

"I thought there was a good chance the interview would be canceled," Simon admitted. "Obviously it wasn't."

"I did not look at Mrs. Cosby, and I don’t mind saying I might’ve been a little uncomfortable doing that anyway," Simon continued when he was asked what Camille Cosby's reaction was to the question. "I did not look at her."

A day after the interview a statement from Cosby's lawyer, John P. Schmitt, was posted to Cosby's website. It stated:

"Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."

Watch the CNN video below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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