Bill Cosby's longtime wife Camille has finally broken her silence and condemned the sexual assault accusations made against her husband, suggesting he has become the "victim" in the media furore.

The veteran actor's reputation has taken a severe hit in recent weeks after more than 20 women went public with allegations of the star's inappropriate behaviour, with reported incidents dating back decades.

Former supermodel Beverly Johnson became Cosby's most high-profile accuser last week (ends12Dec14) when she revealed he had allegedly attempted to drug and seduce her in the 1980s while she auditioned for a part on his hit sitcom The Cosby Show.

The comedian addressed the allegations over the weekend (13-14Dec14) by urging critics and members of the media to view the claims "with a neutral mind", and now his wife Camille has thrown her support behind her husband of 50 years.

In a statement issued on Monday (15Dec14), Camille Cosby writes: "I met my husband, Bill Cosby, in 1963, and we were married in 1964. The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man, and a wonderful husband, father and friend. He is the man you thought you knew.

"A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know. It is also a portrait painted by individuals and organizations whom many in the media have given a pass. There appears to be no vetting of my husband's accusers before stories are published or aired. An accusation is published, and immediately goes viral."

She goes on to compare the scandal to a controversial article recently published in Rolling Stone magazine, about a University of Virginia student who claimed she had been gang raped by a group of fraternity boys in 2012. The article was subsequently retracted and an apology issued after editors discovered a number of discrepancies in the girl's account, which had not been fully investigated by the reporter.

Referring to the controversy, Camille's statement continues, "We all followed the story of the article in the Rolling Stone concerning allegations of rape at the University of Virginia. The story was heart-breaking, but ultimately appears to be proved to be untrue. Many in the media were quick to link that story to stories about my husband - until that story unwound.

"None of us will ever want to be in the position attacking a victim. But the question should be asked - who is the victim?"