According to Frank Scotti he was the one who guarded the outside Bill Cosby’s dressing room, sent hush money to women and even arraigned for the star to have a private apartment in Queens for another pretty young lady. In short he was the mega-star’s fixer.
“He had everybody fooled,” said Scotti in an exclusive interview with the Daily News. “Nobody suspected.”
The 90-year-old Scotti said he decided to speak as the drumbeat of sexual abuse allegations against Cosby, 77, grew steadily louder. “I felt sorry for the women,” he told The News.
The Emmy-winning Cosby, NBC’s most bankable star at the time, used Scotti to deliver monthly payouts to eight different women in 1989-90 — including Shawn Thompson, whose daughter Autumn Jackson claimed the actor was her dad.
Thompson told the TV show “Inside Edition’’ that she believed that the entertainer drugged and raped her — nine months before she gave birth to her daughter. Daughter Autumn was convicted of threatening to tell her story a supermarket tabloid if Cosby didn’t pay her off.
Cosby, while denying paternity, paid out more than $100,000 to Thompson over the years after their 1974 affair began. Scotti told The News that he believes Cosby was sleeping with all the women who received money.
“I was suspicious that something was going on,” said Scotti. “I suspected that he was having sex with them because the other person he was sending money to (Thompson) he was definitely having sex with.
“Why else would he be sending money?” Scotti asked. “He was sending these women $2,000 a month. What else could I think?”
Scotti, who lives in Lakewood, N.J., saved copies of money orders from the era detailing his payouts to four of the Cosby women.
He recalled Cosby presenting him with “a satchel of money, all $100 bills,” and pressing Scotti to distribute the payments using money orders in his own name.
Many of the women mentioned by Scotti refused to comment on his report.
Thompson, contacted last week by email, refused to comment on the ongoing Cosby sex scandal and stopped writing once Scotti’s name was mentioned.
A second woman said “Dr. Cosby” sent her money to help cover expenses for her son to attend private school. The receipts showed her receiving four money orders in one day worth $3,500.
“Your source could have asked me, instead of leading you on a witch hunt,” the woman texted The News. “Not that any of this is your business.”
Cosby, via Scotti, passed along an additional $1,560 to a third woman in February 1990.
One however confirmed Scotti’s story.
Angela Leslie, now 52, was the last name on the receipts — and she told The News the Cosby camp paid for her to fly to California in the early 1990s. She got sick and returned her ticket but saw him two years later in Las Vegas.
Once there, Leslie claimed Cosby got naked before getting sexual — despite her lack of interest. When she backed off, Cosby chased her out of the room.
“I felt so used,” she told The News.
Scotti said Cosby also had an arrangement with a Manhattan modeling agency in which the owner would deliver young women to his dressing room. Some of the aspiring models were as young as 16, Scotti said.
“‘I want you to keep that one girl here,’ ” Scotti quoted Cosby as telling him. “ ‘I want to interview her for a part in the show.’”
The other models and the agency’s owner would quickly disappear, leaving Cosby’s pick alone with the comedian.
“The owner just walked right out,” he recounted. “She knew exactly what was going to go on. Then he’d tell me, ‘Stand outside the door and don’t let anyone in.’ Now you put that together and figure (out) why.”
As of this writing the number of women who have, either anonymously or openly, now accused Cosby has risen to 17, with an unusually large number talking on camera. So many victims of alleged sexual assault, from many walks of life, are now going public to talk unashamedly about their experiences in America that experts are hailing it as the most significant cultural shift against rape in a generation.
On one hand all 17 cannot being lying, on the other Cosby was my favorite comedian ever. Scotti’s story certainly gives more credence to the claims of the 17 women.
Like many who grew up to listening to Bill Cosby albums, my head says they are probably telling the truth, my heart prays they aren’t.