TURLOCK (AP) — Bill Cosby was embraced by fans on Sunday during his first performance in California since allegations of past sexual assaults surfaced.
Cosby was greeted warmly and left with a standing ovation at Turlock Community Theatre. Only one protester showed up to Cosby’s comedy tour stop in the Central California city.
“It’s sad. I am very disappointed there aren’t more people. But someone has to stand up so I came,” said Suzette Sims, 51, who came with a sign that read “I Believe The Women.”
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 attorney and has never been charged with a crime.
“He hasn’t been found guilty of anything and this is still America,” said Wayne Stanfield, 45, who attended Sunday’s show.
Cosby performed in Colorado earlier in the weekend, where he was warmly welcomed to the stage but also attracted protesters. In Denver, some 100 people chanted “Rape is not a joke!” and “No means no!” outside the theater. And at a packed show in Pueblo Friday, about 25 demonstrators gathered outside, chanting “No means no” and “Colorado believes the women.”
Before the shows, Cosby released a statement thanking his fans and saying he’s ready to perform in Colorado.
“I have thousands of loyal, patient and courageous fans that are going to leave their homes to enjoy an evening of laughter and return home feeling wonderful,” he said.