Comedian Bill Cosby, now inmate No. NN7687 in a Pennsylvania prison, was not slapped with a chicken patty during a food fight, despite stories circulating online.
Reports claiming inmates were throwing food at the 81-year-old Cosby began circulating on online news sites and social media soon after he was sent to prison for sexual assault. He was sentenced to three-to-10 years in prison Sept. 25, after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his gated estate in 2004.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokeswoman Amy Worden told The Associated Press that Cosby had not been involved in any food fights since arriving at the SCI Phoenix facility in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where he is currently incarcerated. And, she noted, he does not eat in the main dining room with other inmates.
Radar Online cited an unidentified source when reporting Oct. 8 that Cosby — who played Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" — had attempted to crack a joke when an inmate became angered and took the chicken out of its bun and hit the actor with it. The story was published under the headline, "Food Fight! Jailbird Bill Cosby Slapped With Chicken Patty In Prison." The site reported that it was not the first time Cosby had been hit with a prison provision. The story said that on Sept. 25 Cosby was slapped with a stale hot dog bun as well. Other sites redistributed the report with similar headlines, and it was picked up widely on social media.
Radar Online could not be reached for comment.
Worden said she also spoke with officials at Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, where Cosby was held immediately after his sentencing, and they confirmed he was not hit in the head with a hot dog bun.
This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.