Mark Whitaker, the author of Bill Cosby’s authorized biography, Cosby: His Life and Times, has apologized for omitting the allegations of sexual assault against Cosby from the book on Twitter.

Mark Whitaker Apologizes

On Nov. 24, The New York Times published a piece by David Carr, in which he called out the media for turning a blind eye to the over a dozen rape allegations against Cosby for almost a decade. Carr specifically mentioned Whitaker and his biography, writing, “Given that the accusations had already been carefully and thoroughly reported in Philadelphia magazine and elsewhere, any book of the size and scope of Mr. Whitaker’s should have gone there.”

Following the publication of the article, Whitaker personally reached out to Carr via Twitter and admitted his mistake. “I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively. I am following new developments and will address them at the appropriate time. If true the stories are shocking and horrible,” Whitaker wrote in a series of tweets.

Whitaker Defends Ignoring Rape Allegations

Whitaker’s Cosby biography was published in September of 2014, and readers quickly noticed that the biography held no mention of the 2006 lawsuit against Cosby, in which Andrea Constand accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. Constand filed a civil suit against the comedian, which was eventually settled out of court. More troubling was the fact that 13 other women joined the suit to testify about similar experiences. None of the accusations were included in the biography.

At the time, Whitaker released a statement through his publisher, saying, “I was aware of the allegations, but ultimately decided not to include them in my book. I didn’t want to print allegations that I couldn’t confirm independently.”

Whitaker went on to say that he felt the information available to him from the Constrand case did not meet his journalist integrity: “In the case of the other allegations, however, there were no independent witnesses and no definitive court findings, which did not meet my journalistic or legal standard for including in the biography.” (https://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/the-new-bill-cosby-biography-doesnt-mention-the-past-sexual)

Whitaker later admitted that he had never tried to contact any of the women involved in the suit. (https://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-business/mark-whitaker-on-cosby-his-life-and-times) As more women came forward with their stories, alleging that Cosby had drugged them and sexually assaulted them, Whitaker explained his original reasoning, saying that he did not want to print a potentially harmful ‘he said, she said’ version of events.

“I wasn’t going to reprint the allegations…You can do that and say here’s an allegation, and here’s a denial, but given the nature of the allegations, the allegations would stick…When you’re writing a book, you want to make sure it’s really accurate, that you can stand behind it, because once it’s out it’s not like a piece in a newspaper or even a news magazine that you can correct quickly. That was the standard I used,” Whitaker told The Daily Beast.

The author’s recent tweets on the subject mark his first apology. Whitaker has not further commented on the allegations.