There have been a lot of sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby recently. Some of these go back 30 to 50 years, yet the women involved conveniently all decided to speak now. Each new accusation against Cosby gets more and more bizarre and unbelievable involving women getting drugged and Cosby’s wife being in the next room when Cosby supposedly committed at least one of these sexual assaults. The accusations against Cosby don’t pass the smell test especially since none of these women will take their accusations to an actual court room. Even if statue of limitations is a problem, at least one of the accusations involves a case where it is still within the statue of limitations. There’s also some disturbing racial aspects as, so far, all the women accusing Cosby of sexual assault are white. It’s safe to assume that the accusations against Cosby are false.
If the accusations against Cosby are false, then how can all of these women be wrong? The only point in common is Cosby, right? While true, Cosby is a celebrity so people know who he is so that principle doesn’t apply. Plus, women are known to copy other women’s stories of victimhood to make themselves victims. Based on that alone, Cosby would have only needed to have sexually assaulted one women, or be falsely accused by one woman to get a bunch of women choosing to be “copycat victims”. The copycat victim effect gets magnified by Cosby’s status as a celebrity so you have lots and lots of women all suddenly “discovering” they were sexually assaulted by Cosby at almost the same time. This phenomena is the false accusation bandwagon effect where one false accusation by a woman creates more false accusations by other women.
There’s an additional factor to the false accusation bandwagon effect beyond women being copycat victims. Even though what Cosby is accused of doing is a criminal offense, none of the alleged victims will press criminal charges. Instead they will sue Cosby or use the threat of a law suit to extort money from Cosby. Being a rich celebrity, Cosby likely has a large umbrella liability insurance policy. That is where the money will come from that will be used to pay off these women, at least until the limit of the policy. The insurance company holding Cosby’s policy isn’t interested in doing an investigation over something that happened 50 years ago. Cosby’s insurance company will want to pay off the women accusing him as soon as they determine that the cost of paying off the women is less than the cost of litigation. If it gets to that point, Cosby’s insurance company will force Cosby to agree to have them pay off the women or they will terminate Cosby’s policy. Given the situation Cosby won’t be able to get an umbrella liability insurance policy from another insurance company, if Cosby chooses to fight this. (A similar situation happened to the Frugal Gourmet in the 90s where all of a sudden as he got more popular he was accused of molestation of an increasing number of people. No criminal charges were filed, and the Frugal Gourmet was never able to defend himself because his insurance company forced him to agree to pay off his accusers.) As more women get on the false accusation bandwagon, the insurance company sees the cost of litigating a defense against the accusations go up until it hits the point where they think its cheaper to pay off the women. In addition to the copycat victim problem, this creates a financial incentive for women to get on the false accusation bandwagon against Cosby. The more women falsely accuse Cosby, the more likely all the women will get an easy pay day.
Given the financial implications, a cluster of accusations against a man especially a rich celebrity like Cosby doesn’t mean a thing. Even without the financial incentive, women will get on the false accusation bandwagon as soon as one woman makes a false accusation against a man.