Residents of New England town hesitantly reckon with Cosby


Philip Marcelo/ AP

In this Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, water falls along the Deerfield River in Shelburne, Mass. Town residents said artist Costs Cosby, his wife and a minimum of among their daughters have actually been spending much of their summertime in the secluded nation estate they’ve owned in the southern edge of town since the 1970s.

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015|10:54 p.m.

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In this Nov. 6, 2014, file picture, artist Bill Cosby gestures throughout an interview at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington.

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass.– Deep in the rolling farmland of western Massachusetts, Expense Cosby’s substance has for decades supplied peaceful refuge for the comedian and his family.

The generally subtle Cosbys have been known to spend vacations and significant parts of their summers in town, positioned more than 100 miles from Boston and a popular traveler stop for its locally made arts and crafts and picturesque landmarks. And most people in this typically reserved New England community are content to leave them alone.

But as accusations about years of sexual misconduct remain to reverberate around Cosby, it has ended up being progressively hard for residents to ignore their most popular homeowner, even if they try.

In downtown Shelburne Falls, a town center about 15 minutes from the Cosby compound, some shop owners state they’re tired of responding to concerns about the 78-year-old comedian, who they state never ever frequented their stores anyhow.

“It’s sad when your town’s No. 1 celebrity-type person ends up going down into a circumstance like this,” says Michael Eller, co-owner of the Sawyer News shop, one current weekday afternoon. “But there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. He lives over there doing whatever he does. He doesn’t truly communicate with the town.”

More than 2 dozen ladies have actually accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them, occasionally after they had actually been drugged. 2 lawsuits are pending: a vilification suit in Massachusetts and a civil sexual-assault case in California. Cosby, who has actually never been charged with a criminal offense, has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

Although lots of Shelburne Falls residents are still reluctant to pass judgment, they nonetheless discover themselves pulled into the debate about Cosby as a growing chorus of women raises more accusations against him.

“I believe a lot of individuals had sympathy for him early on, but it’s just a tidal wave today,” states Sidney Anderson, whose household has actually had The Baker Pharmacy and its old fashioned soda fountain, for three generations. “There undoubtedly needs to be something there.”

Others state they sympathize with Cosby’s family, noting they have actually contributed lots of favorable things to the community since relocating to the location in the 1970s, from buying acres of rural land for conservation to speaking out versus a questionable natural gas pipeline job through the area.

“I see it as a private matter,” says Town Clerk and Selectman Joseph Judd, who has personally understood the Cosby household for years. “I can’t imagine a finer family, the method they have actually raised their youngsters, the way they’ve lived. There’s actually nothing unfavorable to state.”

Most say they would not act any in a different way if they came across Cosby.

“I ‘d probably still state hi,” says Justin Nichols, the master roaster at Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters, a cafe outside downtown that Cosby prefers and even donated an espresso device to as soon as. “Not that I feel bad for him. I’m just a good man. I would not want to make anything uncomfortable.”

Previously this month, a half dozen automobiles were parked outside the Cosby substance and laughter and light small talk originated from the home, which includes a historical 15-room farmhouse and a modern-day however rustic-style guest house on 21 acres assessed at roughly $2.7 million. But low-slung gates all around the estate bore a stern caution: “If You Are Not Invited, DO NOT Travel through These Gates.”

A neighbor rumbling past in an old rusty tractor says he doesn’t pay much observe to the comings and goings of the household, which declined requests for remark through a long time spokesman.

“I have no idea when they’re there,” he said, asking not to be identified. “They don’t phone call to say they remain in town. And he’s never invited me in.”

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