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Protest staged ahead of Cosby gig


Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theatre in Denver (AP)

Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theatre in Denver (AP)

Comedian Bill Cosby performs at the Buell Theatre in Denver (AP)

About 100 people chanted "Rape is not a joke" and "No means no" outside a theatre in Denver where comedian Bill Cosby was performing, though the show itself went on without a disturbance.

Earlier in the day, a woman held a news conference at a nearby hotel to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1986.

Beth Ferrier said during the gathering called by Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred that Cosby put drugs in her coffee when she went to see one of his shows in Denver.

"I cannot tell you how horrific of a feeling that is," she said, adding that the next thing she remembered was waking up hours later in the back of her car "practically naked".

Ms Ferrier, 55, has said previously she was assaulted by Cosby. She went public on June 23, 2005, alleging that as a model visiting New York in the early 1980s, she met Cosby and they had a brief affair.

The 77-year-old comedian is facing sexual assault accusations from at least 15 women, with some of the claims dating back decades. He has denied the allegations through his lawyer and has never been charged with a crime.

Cosby was welcomed to the stage during his first show last night with a standing ovation and hoots of "We love you Bill". He did not make any reference to the allegations during the two-hour performance.

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Cosby fan Robert Belveal, 48, said the protesters outside did nothing to deter him from attending.

"I believe that if you're not convicted of a crime, then why should you be judged? All it takes is for one person to say something, then you have all these other people wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame." he said of Cosby's accusers.

The Denver Post reported that the entertainer also received a standing ovation at his second show of the night.

On Friday, Cosby performed at a packed show in Pueblo. About 25 demonstrators gathered outside, chanting "no means no" and "Colorado believes the women".

But inside the venue, the crowd warmly welcomed Cosby. Making his first appearance in Pueblo since a 1996 show at the Colorado State Fair, he was embraced by a mostly middle-aged and older crowd.

Protesters interrupted a handful of Cosby's recent shows.

Hecklers stood up and chanted repeatedly "we believe the women" at Cosby's third and final performance of a Canadian tour on January 9. The protesters then marched out of the theatre as Cosby asked his audience not to react.

The day before, a man at Cosby's performance in London, Ontario, called the comedian a rapist. The shows in Canada were the comedian's first since November when a string of performances were cancelled over the accusations.

Meanwhile, a model who claims Cosby drugged and sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008 met with Los Angeles police on Wednesday to pursue criminal charges. Chloe Goins's lawyer said that his client is the first woman accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct whose case may fall within the statute of limitations.

Cosby's lawyer Martin D Singer said on Friday that the comedian was in New York the night Goins claims she was attacked.

Cosby is scheduled to continue his tour tonight in Turlock, California.

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