May 16, 2015 / 5:53 AM / 2 years ago

Cosby dodges sexual assault questions in ABC interview

3 Min Read

Comedian Bill Cosby performs at The Temple Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado in this file photo from January 17, 2015.Barry Gutierrez

(Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby, accused by dozens of women of sexual assault, gave his first interview in months on Friday but evaded direct questions about the scandal that has damaged his long career.

Asked by ABC News in an interview how he would answer if a young person asked him if the allegations were true, Cosby said he was "prepared to tell this young person the truth about life."

"I'm telling you where the road is out. I'm telling you where, as you're driving, you're going to go into water and it looks like it might only be three inches deep, but you and your car are going to go down," he said.

"Now you want to go here or you want to be concerned about who's giving you the message?" the 77-year-old said in the interview that aired on "Good Morning America" and later on "Nightline."

More than 40 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault dating back to the 1960s and many said that they believed he had drugged them.

Cosby, best known for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the hit TV series "The Cosby Show," has never been charged over any of the allegations. He settled a 2005 civil lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct.

His attorney Marty Singer has dismissed the allegations as discredited and defamatory.

"I can't speak, I just don't want to argue, I don't talk about it," Cosby told ABC News journalist Linsey Davis when asked if the media had been unfair to him.

In an interview about his art collection in November on National Public Radio, Cosby declined to answer questions about the accusations.

Friday's interview took place around Cosby's visit to schools in Alabama, where he was invited by non-profit group Black Belt Community Foundation to raise awareness about arts and education in poor counties.

"It is not a matter of who is rejecting me, as much as it is somebody may get it," Cosby said. "And I am going to keep plowing through it because in this world of education, there is a harvest."

The accusations prompted cancellations of a several stops on Cosby's "Far From Finished" comedy tour, and some shows attracted protesters and hecklers.

Last November, NBC scratched plans to develop a pilot project with the comedian, and Netflix Inc. dropped a comedy special.

Cosby said Friday he wants "to get back to media, television, books, the entertainment."

Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst and Mary Milliken

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