The Cosby Show veteran has been under fire in recent months as more than 30 women went public with decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct and rape.

The funnyman's lawyers have continually denied the accusations, but the married actor's troubles were compounded last week (begs06Jul15), when his deposition from a 2005 sex assault lawsuit was released, revealing Cosby had admitted to obtaining powerful sedatives Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to sleep with.

Following the revelation, members of a group named PAVE (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment) launched a petition on the White House website, urging U.S. President Barack Obama to take the unprecedented step of stripping the TV star of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honour, which Cosby received in 2002.

On Wednesday (15Jul15), Obama was asked about the controversy during a White House press conference, and he admitted there was "no precedent for revoking a medal", adding, "We don't have that mechanism."

The President declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but made his stance on drugs and rape known by stating: "If you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that's rape. And I think this country, any civilised country, should have no tolerance for rape."