Under-pressure comedian Bill Cosby performed a near sell-out show in Florida on Friday night, amid claims he has raped and sexually assaulted women.
The former star of the 1980s TV hit The Cosby Show carried out a stand up comedy routine to a 2,000-strong audience in Melbourne.
Police were in attendance outside the theatre in case any demonstrations turned into unrest.
Radio hosts had earlier offered cash and prizes to anyone who started a disturbance, AP reported. The news wire said that, in the end, only a few seats were left unfilled.
But before the performer took to the stage, one woman protester was spotted outside the C King Center for the Performing Arts, holding a sign that read “Rape Is No Joke”.
Cosby made no reference during his show to the allegations that have shocked his fans in the last few weeks.
Wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Hello Friend”, the subject matter of his routine included childhood, marriage and religion but theatregoers described everything as “pretty family friendly”.
The Florida show came after other shows at casinos in Las Vegas and Arizona were cancelled as more women come forward to allege he sexually assaulted them years ago.
Cosby told the Florida Today newspaper before the show: “I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check.”
Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer, said in a statement: “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.
“These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.
“Lawsuits are filed against people in the public eye every day.
“There has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men, so it makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward for the first time now ever asserted a legal claim back at the time they allege they had been sexually assaulted.
“This situation is an unprecedented example of the media’s breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards.
“Over and over again, we have refuted these new unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork. When will it end?
“It is long past time for this media vilification of Mr Cosby to stop.”
At least eight women are known to have made allegations against the comedian.