In 2005, the famed comedian and television star Bill Cosby was accused of sexually assaulting at least 13 women over a 30-year period. While the case drew some media coverage at the time, it attracted very little national attention and Cosby’s original accuser eventually settled out of court. However, after another comedian, Hannibal Buress, discussed the charges in a performance in Philadelphia, things changed: several more women came forward, accusing Cosby of rape and sexual abuse, additional civil charges were filed, and a lawsuit is pending. Most notably, public favor has turned against the formerly beloved star. Recently, Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been defaced, with someone scrawling the word “rapist” on it three times.
The Walk of Fame, located on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, is a state landmark meant to celebrate the achievements of qualifying actors, musicians, and other entertainment professionals. Featuring five-pointed stars made of terrazzo and brass, the monuments are a famous feature that draws millions of tourists every year. A permanent marker was reportedly used on Cosby’s star, which had to be refinished to remove the words.
In response, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce issued a statement asking the public to find more constructive ways to vent their displeasure with the Walk of Fame’s inductees, instead of vandalizing the landmark. The organization was likely upset at having to pay to refinish Cosby’s star: terrazzo is famously durable and typically requires little maintenance, but once permanently discolored, can require significant effort to clean.
“To clean Terrazzo of permanent ink would require a diamond-embedded buffer to hone and polish the surface in order to get the luster back,” explains David Hadidian, Owner of Bay Shore Cleaning and Restoration. “The cleaning process can often take a long time for large surfaces and it is a thorough, step by step process to clean this type of material.”
Currently, almost two dozen women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual abuse and assault, which they say took place between the 1960s and early 2000s. While many of the women have achieved some fame of their own, including former supermodel Janice Dickinson, almost all of the women say that Cosby’s fame and standing prevented them from coming forward independently. Similarly, most of the women report that they experienced similar patterns, including being drugged before the assault. Most recently, a woman named Judith Huth filed suit against Cosby in Los Angeles, claiming that he had molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was only 15 years old.