NEW YORK — Bill Cosby’s wife refuted sex assault allegations against her husband of a half-century Monday, saying the man being accused by at least 15 women of drugging and having sex with them is “a man I do not know.”

In a statement issued Monday, Camille Cosby dismissed accusations that date back as far as the late 1960s.

She suggested that her husband, not the women, is the party being harmed.

“None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim,” she said. “But the question should be asked – who is the victim?”

Cosby is being sued for defamation by one alleged victim and for sexual battery by another woman who says he forced her to perform a sex act when she was 15. He has never been charged in connection with any of the accusations, and his lawyers deny many of the allegations. He settled with a Pennsylvania woman who in a 2005 lawsuit said Cosby drugged and molested her in 2004.

A new round of claims of sexual assault and rape began in early November – accusations Camille Cosby said haven’t been properly vetted by the media. She likened the media’s handling of the accusations to a Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia that later proved to be untrue, saying her husband’s accusers have been “given a pass” by the media.

The statement is the first public comment from Camille Cosby since the renewed allegations began.

Since then, the 77-year-old comedian’s tour has been whittled by cancellations and indefinite postponements of about 10 concerts in as many states.