UPDATE: Bill Cosby spoke with NBC News before he took the stage at the Buell Theater in Denver, Colorado on Saturday night, which was surrounded by protestors. Cosby told NBC, "What you'll see tonight is history, you'll get to see me on stage." The comedian wouldn't address the recent sexual assault accusations directly. "You will see this wonderful gift on stage tonight [at the show] as well as the people of Denver," he said. "You will see a master at work."
EARLIER: Protesters descended on a Denver theater hosting a pair of Bill Cosby comedy performances on Saturday night, chanting "Turn back Cosby" and "Rape is not a joke" in response to the numerous accusations of sexual assault against the embattled comedian.
Lively #Cosby protest in Colorado. This sign shot by our producer Marcus. #ACCESS
— Billy Bush (@billybush) Jan 17 2015
Approximately 100 protesters chanted and brandished signs outside Buell Theater, which was hosting two performances by Cosby on Saturday night, the Associated Press reported. "Don't drink the water," some chanted, referencing claims Cosby drugged his alleged victims' drinks. A brass band joined people holding signs critical of Cosby. Attendees of the performances were waved down with metal detectors by security guards. Before the 8 p.m. showing, police officers took positions near protesters outside the theater. No arrests were reported.
Despite the hectic setting, hundreds of ticket-holders turned out for the performances. Cosby was met with a standing ovation and he thanked the audience, Reuters reported.
Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who has been representing some of the women accusing Cosby, held a press conference before the shows with a Denver woman who said Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1986, KUSA reported. Beth Ferrier, who was in her 20s at the time of the alleged incident, claimed Cosby drugged her coffee when he was visiting Denver, causing her to lose consciousness. She said she woke up "practically naked" in the back of her car. Ferrier had accused Cosby of assault before, in 2005, alleging they had an affair in 1984, the Associated Press reported. Allred also led demonstration to the theater before the show.
The 77-year-old entertainer had performed the previous night in Pueblo to little protest and before a packed audience.
Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women over a span of several decades. For years, allegations against Cosby went with little notice. But over the past year, more and more women have come forward accusing the entertainer of sexual misconduct.
The accusations against Cosby escalated in the past week, as model Chloe Goins met with police to pursue criminal charges against the comedian, alleging he drugged and sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. Goins would be the first woman accusing Cosby of sexual assault whose case may fall within the statute of limitations, according to her attorney. Cosby's lawyer, Martin Singer, has stated Cosby was not in Los Angeles at the time of the alleged assault. (Prior attempts to charge Cosby have been rejected, and Cosby has maintained his innocence.)
Numerous Cosby performances have been canceled or postponed as the controversy around him has grown.
Several of the shows that have not been canceled have been interrupted by protests inside the venue and out (audience members at a Jan. 9 show in Canada shouted "We believe the women!"). Prior to his Colorado performances, Cosby issued a statement saying that the North American comedy tour would continue despite the backlash against him.
In addition to canceled performances, institutions and media networks have cut ties with Cosby. On Friday, NBC stated it would not work with Cosby ever again.