With 30 women now accusing Bill Cosby of sexual abuse going back decades -- including Jewel Alllison who wrote in Friday's Washington Post that she was reluctant to come forward "because I feared it would undermine the entire African-American community" -- the embattled comedian released a short video Monday morning promoting a West Virginia engagement.

It's noteworthy because a.) This is Cosby's first actual video to address anything since these latest allegations arose last year; and b.) Because it is so strange.

Very strange ...

"Yes, I'm going to be in Wheeling, West Virginia ..." he says, speaking into a telephone.

Speaking to whom? Why? This video raises the questions -- doesn't answer them. (And why now -- three days after the Allison story in the Post? Yet another question ...)

Cosby's tour has been plagued by cancellations, and this video could be interpreted as an emphatic response to those.   

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Meanwhile, on Friday, Jewel Allison, author of "Stealing Peace: Let's Talk About Racism," explained in a Washington Post op-ed why she had come forward in November with her allegation that Cosby assaulted her "one night in the late 1980s." Saying, "Historic images of black men being vilified en masse as sexually violent" had made her fear that, "Telling my story wouldn't only help bring down Cosby; I feared it would undermine the entire African-American community." She eventually concluded, "The only legacy at stake is of one entertainer, not of black manhood. . . . "

With Frank Lovece.