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Bill Cosby’s lawyer released a statement Friday denying claims of sexual assault against the comedian and blaming the press for widely reporting “unsubstantiated, fantastical” allegations.

“The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity,” said Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, Variety reports.

Since 2005, more than a dozen women have come out and accused Cosby of molestation or sexual assault, but these accounts only recently began to gain media attention, in the midst of Cosby’s latest efforts at a comeback. On Nov. 19, NBC announced it was halting development of its new show starring Cosby, Netflix postponed a Bill Cosby comedy special set to air Nov. 28 and TV Land yanked reruns of The Cosby Show.

But despite the backlash, Cosby received a standing ovation at a sold-out comedy show in Melbourne, Florida on Friday. “I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos,” Cosby told Florida TODAY before the Melbourne show. “People should fact check. People shouldn’t have to go through that and shouldn’t answer to innuendos.”

Cosby’s lawyer blamed the media for rushing into stories before they had been confirmed. “It is long past time for this media vilification of Mr. Cosby to stop.”

Here’s Singer’s full statement:

MORE: Here’s Everything We Know (And Don’t Know) About the Bill Cosby Rape Allegations

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