Claim: Raven Symone said Bill Cosby “drugged and raped” her after The Cosby Show‘s last episode.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, November 2014]
Did Raven Symone accuse Bill Cosby of molesting her?
Origins: On 17 November 2014, the web site Hip-Hop Hangover published an article claiming former child star Raven Symone (whose career began on The Cosby Show) had “filed molestation charges” against Bill Cosby. According to the article Symone “revealed to the TMZ offices” she had been “raped and drugged years ago following the show’s last episode,” and Hip-Hop Hangover‘s report included quotes attributed to Symone’s lawyer:
We among so many others are tired of the media worshipping and praising a man that has a past so terrible that it is unbelievable. My client (Raven-Symone) is also ready to tell her side of the story. A side that was kept quiet because of threats from being blackballed. There was no monetary compensation that made my client keep quiet, but more so the respect for Mr. Cosby. Well that respect has come to an end. And what we thought was a mistake or anomaly has surfaced to become a lifestyle. We will be pursuing damages that are not going to be disclosed at this time.
Raven Symone was a mere six years old when The Cosby Show‘s series finale aired in 1992, making the article’s claim particularly upsetting to many readers, and due to controversial rape accusations against Cosby that have been featured in news headlines in recent weeks, the story seemed plausible to many readers. However, Hip-Hop Hangover is one of many fake news sites on the Internet, as evidenced by the site’s disclaimer:
Hip Hop Hangover is a Gossip parody and satirical publication and for entertainment purposes only.
On 19 November, the reach of the fake news article prompted Raven Symone to issue a short statement via her Instagram account refuting the rumor and imploring the media to exempt her from the larger conversation about Cosby:
I was NOT taken advantage of by Mr. Cosby when I was on the Cosby Show! I was practically a baby on that show and this is truly a disgusting rumor that I want no part of! Everyone on that show treated me with nothing but kindness. Now keep me out of this!