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Alleged Cosby victim is in town to protest performance | News

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Alleged Cosby victim is in town to protest performance
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ATLANTA (WXIA) – Bill Cosby's performance at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre will be under heavy protest Saturday night. Since sexual assault allegations surfaced last fall, Cosby has canceled and postponed shows, but this one will go on.

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At least one alleged victim of Cosby's is in town hoping to make a difference.

Kaya Thompson, once known to family and friends as Jena, said she can't even look at him.

"When his image is even on the internet, I avert my eyes," she said.

She calls herself a survivor – a new name, a specific title.

"I remember feeling ashamed," she said.

"I was raised watching that show and also listening to his albums," she said.It's an effort to distance herself from a moment that she says left a permanent scar. It's an incident that she says involves a name everyone knows.

Bill Cosby is the name – one that she no longer says.

Thompson is in Atlanta with her parents this weekend, visiting from Florida – empowered to take a stand before Cosby takes the stage Saturday night.

"I'm glad I'm not alone," she said.

Thompson is one of more than 40 women who have come forward with allegations against the comedian. She says Cosby sexually assaulted her in the late 1980s. She was working as an extra on "The Cosby Show."

"I was aware, even at 17, what was expected of me one night when he said we must have a dinner," she said.

Cosby, earlier this week, sent out a 19-second video.

"I'm going to perform, because I love it when you laugh," he said. "I love it when you smile – love it."

He did not address the planned protests, despite canceling and postponing shows since the allegations began to surface last fall. But there is no ignoring the monumental step this protest is for Thompson.

"Now, I'm feeling more and more empowered and confident in the ability for all of us to collectively make some sort of a change," she said.

Thompson says Saturday night will be the closest she has been to Cosby since that night in the late 80s.

The Cobb Energy Centre is taking extra precautions ahead of Cosby's show Saturday night. They want all ticket holders to know that the venue will not tolerate any obscene or abusive language or actions – or any action that interferes with the performance.

A statement on their website says, in part, "Staff will promptly intervene, when necessary, to ensure that these provisions are enforced. Guests who choose not to adhere to these provisions will be subject to ejection without refund and possible arrest."

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