Bill Cosby's star removed from outside Orpheum Theatre

New star that replaced Bill Cosby's star. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
New star that replaced Bill Cosby's star. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Comedian Bill Cosby's star outside the Orpheum Theatre is gone, replaced with a star honoring Orpheum volunteers.

Cosby's trial on aggravated indecent assault charges ended in a hung jury back in June, but prosecutors plan to re-try him.

"Since the jury hasn't decided yet, I'd like to stay neutral," Chet Kibble said when asked his thoughts on Cosby's star being removed.

Kibble said he isn't so sure he agrees with a decision by the Orpheum Theatre to move Bill Cosby's star. The comedian performed four times at the theater over the years, and Cosby's star was nestled near some of Memphis' biggest names, like BB King, Isaac Hayes, and Cybill Shepherd.

A spokesperson for Orpheum Theatre said no decision has been made about the future of Cosby's star, despite its removal.

"We had a star made to honor the 40th anniversary of our volunteer usher organization, Friends of the Orpheum, and wanted to put it in a prominent location in the sidewalk.  In order to do that, we moved the Bill Cosby star.  No decision has been made about what to do with Mr. Cosby's star," said Kristin Bennett, with Orpheum Theatre Group. "We have no timetable."

Right after the charges of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman were filed against Cosby in 2015, WMC Action News 5 asked the theater if there were plans to move the star.

"The star was based on his performances here and his popularity at the time, and we haven't discussed any possible removal of the star," said Pat Halloran, former Orpheum Theatre President and CEO, in an interview in December of 2015.

After Cosby's mistrial this summer, prosecutors intend to try him again in the spring. He has denied allegations of misconduct by more than 50 other women.

Guilty verdict or not, at least for the time being, Cosby's star in Memphis is gone. Some say that's not fair.

"It's saying that you've already done it, if you take something back from someone," Cassandra Johnson said.

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