Bill Cosby’s troubled life to be profiled in an in-depth BBC documentary

Cosby: Fall of an American Icon will chart the rise and fall of the actor and comedian and air on BBC2 around the time of his trial in June

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A new BBC film will tell the extraordinary story of US entertainer Bill Cosby’s life to coincide with his criminal trial for sexual assault.

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Cosby: Fall of an American Icon will chart the actor and comic’s life leading up to his upcoming trial this June when he faces a charge of sexual assault on a woman named Andrea Constand amidst accusations of similar behaviour from dozens of other women. Cosby denies the charges.

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The BBC film explores why it took so long for allegations against the entertainer to be taken seriously, and hears testimony from the journalists, co-stars and the accusers who fought for years for this side of the Cosby story to be heard.

Interviewees include Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor as well as accusers, fellow Cosby actor Lili Bernard, and former actor and playboy bunny Victoria Valentino.

One of Hollywood’s biggest and highest paid stars, a role model to African-Americans and philanthropist for black causes, Bill Cosby was an American icon for decades.

He came to prominence as the first black American actor to appear in a starring role in a mainstream drama in 1965, and in the 1980s, the eponymous Cosby Show, with Bill’s alter ego Cliff Huxtable as the lead, was his high point.

But throughout his career Bill was allegedly privately drugging and raping women with impunity.

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The show is expected to air on BBC2 at around the same time as his trial.