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Bill Cosby on sexual assault allegations: "I don't talk about it"

Last Updated Nov 20, 2014 7:58 AM EST

NEW YORK --The first video has surfaced of comedian Bill Cosby responding to a growing number of sexual assault allegations.

The Associated Press released footage Wednesday night from an interview it conducted with Cosby on Nov. 6, when the comedian was promoting an exhibit of artwork he and his wife had lent to the Smithsonian Institution. The video was first published by Time Magazine.

At the time, the story involved long-circulated accusations from several women and recent criticism from comedian Hannibal Buress. Cosby declined to comment, saying "We don't answer that."

"And I'll tell you why," Cosby said. "I think you were told... and I don't want to compromise your integrity, but we don't, I don't talk about it."

After his initial refusal to comment -- as the interview was winding down but with the camera still running and Cosby wearing a lapel microphone -- the comedian asked the AP to not use the brief on-camera refusal to comment he had just made about the allegations.

"Of what value will it have? And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled," Cosby told the reporter. "I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious, that it will not appear anywhere."

Cosby added, "And we thought, by the way, that since it was AP it wouldn't be necessary to go over that question with you... We thought the AP had the integrity to not ask."

The AP said the interview was on the record and that it had made no agreement to avoid questions about the allegations or to withhold publishing any of his comments at any time.

Since the interview was taped, five women have come forward publicly to accuse him of sexual assault. Netflix, TV Land and NBC have cut ties with Cosby and an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" has been canceled.

As the allegations gained increasing attention, the AP said it went back through the full video of the Nov. 6 interview and decided to publish Cosby's full reaction to questions about the claims.

The scandal, which involves allegations that were widely reported on a decade ago as well as new accusations, has gravely damaged the 77-year-old comedian's reputation as America's TV dad just as he was launching a comeback.

Cosby has never been charged in connection with any of the allegations, which his attorney strongly denies.

Former Pennsylvania prosecutor Bruce L. Castor Jr., who investigated a woman's claims that Cosby had sexually assaulted her in 2004, said Wednesday he decided not to prosecute because he felt there was not enough evidence to get a conviction.