Bill the rapist Cosby: now it's 43

Since late last year I’ve been following the ever-growing number of women who have publicly accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. I first became aware of the allegations when Cosby was called out as a rapist during a stand-up act by comedian Hannibal Burress. Following that accusation, two women stepped up to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. Soon after, I learned that the number of victims jumped to 15. Then 19. Then 22. Then 23.  Then 26. At this point I suspected the number would rise to 30 in little time (which it did) and began to wonder how high it was going to go. How many women did Bill Cosby sexually assault over the years? Last week, the number of victims rose to 41. Today, it has risen to 43:

Former “Cosby Show” actress Lili Bernard and writer Sammie Mayes on Friday came forward with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby in a press conference in New York City. The women stood next to attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing many of Cosby’s alleged victims.

Allred says Cosby raped Bernard in New Jersey, a state that does not have a statute of limitations on rape. Cosby could conceivably be charged for the crime if a prosecutor finds sufficient evidence. This has not been possible in the cases of other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault in recent years.

I find it fucking outlandish that different states get to decide whether or not to have a statute of limitations on rape, and I’m glad to hear New Jersey is one of those states without one. I hope there is enough evidence to charge Cosby, so that there can be some measure of justice for the many, many women he has assaulted over the last several decades.

In her statement, Mayes said she met Cosby when she attended a New Orleans TV conference in the mid-’80s. She says she was just starting her writing career, so she eagerly accepted Cosby’s offer to do an interview with him.

Mayes says she asked a passerby to snap a photo of herself and Cosby (see above) as they headed to his hotel room together. Once there, she says, he mixed her a drink. When she woke up covered in drool, she initially thought she had fainted.

But she says she soon noticed her shirt was unbuttoned, and her bra pushed to the side. Her chain belt (which can be seen in the photo) had been loosely re-hooked.

“I realized I had just survived an encounter with a scheming madman who hid his demons behind an alluring persona,” she says. Out of fear for her safety, she says, she apologized to Cosby profusely and left the room quickly.

Bernard claims Cosby assaulted her in the early ’90s when she guest-starred as the zany and pregnant Mrs. Minifield on the final season of “The Cosby Show.” She says Cosby became a mentor and a father figure to her.

A faux mentor/father figure who wanted to gain her trust, affection, and respect as part of his predatory tactics. Once he did that, his plan was to rape her, which is exactly what happened:

“After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” she said during the press conference.

Bernard says Cosby threatened and intimidated her after the assault, telling her, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead,” which she interpreted as a death threat.

A few months later, Bernard was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts following the trauma. She said she still suffers nightmares and panic attacks.

I wonder if that hospital would still have those records and if they could be beneficial in building a case against Cosby. I really hope so because I want to see that lying shitstain rapist face the consequences of his actions.

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it's 43
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Bill the rapist Cosby: now it’s 43

Since late last year I’ve been following the ever-growing number of women who have publicly accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. I first became aware of the allegations when Cosby was called out as a rapist during a stand-up act by comedian Hannibal Burress. Following that accusation, two women stepped up to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. Soon after, I learned that the number of victims jumped to 15. Then 19. Then 22. Then 23.  Then 26. At this point I suspected the number would rise to 30 in little time (which it did) and began to wonder how high it was going to go. How many women did Bill Cosby sexually assault over the years? Last week, the number of victims rose to 41. Today, it has risen to 43:

Former “Cosby Show” actress Lili Bernard and writer Sammie Mayes on Friday came forward with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby in a press conference in New York City. The women stood next to attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing many of Cosby’s alleged victims.

Allred says Cosby raped Bernard in New Jersey, a state that does not have a statute of limitations on rape. Cosby could conceivably be charged for the crime if a prosecutor finds sufficient evidence. This has not been possible in the cases of other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault in recent years.

I find it fucking outlandish that different states get to decide whether or not to have a statute of limitations on rape, and I’m glad to hear New Jersey is one of those states without one. I hope there is enough evidence to charge Cosby, so that there can be some measure of justice for the many, many women he has assaulted over the last several decades.

In her statement, Mayes said she met Cosby when she attended a New Orleans TV conference in the mid-’80s. She says she was just starting her writing career, so she eagerly accepted Cosby’s offer to do an interview with him.

Mayes says she asked a passerby to snap a photo of herself and Cosby (see above) as they headed to his hotel room together. Once there, she says, he mixed her a drink. When she woke up covered in drool, she initially thought she had fainted.

But she says she soon noticed her shirt was unbuttoned, and her bra pushed to the side. Her chain belt (which can be seen in the photo) had been loosely re-hooked.

“I realized I had just survived an encounter with a scheming madman who hid his demons behind an alluring persona,” she says. Out of fear for her safety, she says, she apologized to Cosby profusely and left the room quickly.

Bernard claims Cosby assaulted her in the early ’90s when she guest-starred as the zany and pregnant Mrs. Minifield on the final season of “The Cosby Show.” She says Cosby became a mentor and a father figure to her.

A faux mentor/father figure who wanted to gain her trust, affection, and respect as part of his predatory tactics. Once he did that, his plan was to rape her, which is exactly what happened:

“After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” she said during the press conference.

Bernard says Cosby threatened and intimidated her after the assault, telling her, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead,” which she interpreted as a death threat.

A few months later, Bernard was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts following the trauma. She said she still suffers nightmares and panic attacks.

I wonder if that hospital would still have those records and if they could be beneficial in building a case against Cosby. I really hope so because I want to see that lying shitstain rapist face the consequences of his actions.

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it’s 43

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

First it was a trickle. Then it was a slow but steady stream. Then it was a fast-moving river. Now it’s like Niagara Falls.  Three more women have alleged that Bill Cosby drugged and raped them, bringing the total to 41.

Forty-fucking-one

Well-known civil rights attorney Gloria Allred is representing these women (as well as several others). According to Allred, the women are speaking up because Cosby continues to refuse to “acknowledge and take responsibility for his conduct towards women.” The three women include Janice Baker-Kenney:

On the night of the alleged assault, Kinney, who was 24 at the time, said a friend invited her to the house for a “pizza party.” There, she says Cosby offered her two pills. “I thought it must be OK,” she said. “Bill Cosby said it was.”

She woke up later in the living room area on the couch with her jeans unzipped and her blouse opened and remembered Cosby bringing her upstairs to the bedroom.

The following morning, she woke up next to a naked Cosby who was touching her belly and genital area. She said she quickly got dressed and before she walked out the front door Cosby allegedly said: “‘this is between you and me’ and he put his finger to his mouth like a ‘shhhh’ sign.”

Marcella Tate:

Marcella Tate was a 27-year-old Wilhelmina model when she was assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion’s Chicago location in 1975. He gave her a drink, and the last thing she remembered was him laying next to her in bed, naked. The Playboy Mansion has been a frequent setting for the alleged assaults.

and Autumn Burns:

Burns said she met Cosby in 1970 at a Las Vegas casino in which she worked when she was 20 years old. She said she was invited to his suite where he made her a drink, after which she felt “woozy and not in control”. She said the comedian then forced her into sex acts.

Of course, as expected, Cosby’s defenders show up in the comment sections of these articles to defend their icon. Apparently he’s such a virtuous individual that he is unassailable and so obviously not a rapist. I’m so motherfucking sick and tired of the lack of empathy and compassion for rape victims and I say that as someone who has never been raped. I cannot image how awful it must be for sexual assault victims to watch people defend a rapist, no matter how much of a celebrity he is.

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

I'm sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

As part of his October 2014 stand-up act, comedian Hannibal Buress reminded the country of the sexual assault allegations surrounding fellow comedian Bill Cosby. Referring to him as “the f–king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate”, Buress went on to say:

“He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,'” Buress mocked. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”

Buress couldn’t have known, but his comments served as the catalyst for many of Cosby’s victims to speak up publicly about their assault at his hands.  While a handful of his victims had already publicly accused Cosby of raping them (Andrea Constand, Beth Ferrier, and Tamara Green), it turns out there were many, many more.  As the number of accusations increased, more victims chose to speak up publicly, some for the first time.  Barbara Bowman was among the first women to allege that Cosby sexually assaulted her. Days later, Joan Tarshis came forward with her own allegations. Then there was Janice Dickinson, followed by Therese Serignese and Carla FerrignoLouisa MoritzAngela Leslie, and Linda Joy TraitzMichelle Hurd, Renita Chaney Hill, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Kristina Ruehli, Jewel AllisonJena T, Judy Huth, Chelan, Helen Hayes, P.J. Masten, Beverly Johnson, Chloe Goins, Lisa, Lachelle Covington, Shawn Brown, Donna Motsinger, Katherine McGee, Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, Kasey, and Cindra Ladd.

Recently, three more women have spoken up, raising the total number of allegations against Bill Cosby to three dozen. Heidi Thomas decided to speak up and her story mirrors the stories of so many of Cosby’s victims. 30 years ago, she was questioning her career choices when she was given the opportunity to meet Bill Cosby. Seeing this as a way to further her career, Thomas journeyed to Reno, Nevada, in the hopes that Cosby would coach her and help her develop her acting skills.

Thomas says she was picked up by limousine at the airport in Reno. She questioned the driver because she remembered seeing the city lights behind her as they drove away. Thomas says she was confused because the postcard she bought at the airport showed Harrah’s as being in the middle of town.

The driver told her that a friend let Cosby use their house outside Reno so “he doesn’t have to deal with all of the paparazzi,” Thomas says.

Thomas says Cosby greeted her at the door of the sprawling house, and later, the coaching began.

She says she performed a monologue, and when she finished, Cosby asked her to do a cold read of a person who was intoxicated.

According to Thomas, Cosby wasn’t impressed. Thomas wasn’t much of a drinker.

“How are you ever going play an intoxicated person … if you’ve never been drunk?” she says he told her.

She says Cosby wanted her to relax, and he gave her a glass of Chablis.

Thomas admits that her memory of the next few hours is “foggy,” but she says that at one point, he may have asked her something like, (Are you) “feeling the part now?” or “Feeling the lines now?”

Thomas says that when she woke up, Cosby was next to her in bed, naked and “forcing himself in my mouth.” She says she remembers feeling like she wanted to throw up.

Soon after, Thomas says, Cosby was getting on top of her again and referring to himself in the third person.

“I’m your friend … your friend is gonna (ejaculate) again,” Thomas remembers him saying.

Rather than get angry with Cosby, Thomas says, she made excuses and asked herself, “What’s happened? Why am I here? Why is he naked? What did I say? What did I do?”

Thomas says she remembers eventually storming out of the room and slamming the door, and then apologizing for being “rude.” The next thing she can remember is riding with Cosby to his show. She says the rest of her memory is spotty: She recalls a cook offering her strawberries and having wine with Cosby before his show. But, she says, she doesn’t remember much more from the four-day trip.

Thomas says that months after the incident in Reno, she learned Cosby was going to be in St. Louis. She says she traveled there and was able see him backstage after one of his shows, but never talked to him about what happened in Reno. She was never alone with him, she says.

“There’s another thing I wish I could explain,” she says of the trip. “[The] closest thing I can say here is I just wanted to make this right … I’m still not thinking I’ve been abused. I’m thinking this is all my fault.” Thomas says she wanted to see if Cosby really thought she had talent.

That was 1984 — and Thomas says that she’s been haunted in the years since, thinking that maybe she’d brought it on herself. She chose not to confide in anyone, including her agent or the talent agency.

But Thomas says everything changed a few weeks ago when she learned that her mother knew something had happened in Reno. Thomas says she learned this from a friend; her mother had never mentioned a word of it to her in all these years.

Indeed, Johnson says Thomas called her from Reno back in 1984 after her first full day there and after the alleged incident. Thomas says she doesn’t remember making that call, but her mother has little trouble recollecting the confusion and anguish she felt hundreds of miles away.

“I remember standing in the kitchen thrilled to hear from my daughter. She was excited.” Johnson remembers making some small talk when she said Thomas said something very disturbing.

“I did something wrong and … I got away and slammed the door,” Johnson remembers her daughter telling her.

Johnson says she continued trying to get more information from her daughter on the phone.

“‘Did he rape you?’ She said, ‘No, I got away.'”

Johnson says she wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. “I couldn’t reach her. I couldn’t touch her. I didn’t know anyone in Reno to send her to. She was on the other side of the earth.”

Thomas says she returned to Denver with no memory of the flight or the ride home with her parents.

“I don’t remember seeing them. What did we say to each other? How did she look? I-I-I have nothing.”

Johnson says she decided not to mention the phone call — or let on that she knew in any way — because she just wanted “things get back to normal” for her daughter.

Thomas has never spoken publicly about this incident, until now. She says finding out that her mother knew all along was what freed her to speak.

“I finally find out that she knows, that Dad knows, that they are supporting me if I want to go public…Then it became full steam ahead, I want to empower people.”

“I was beginning to think though…that whole keeping-your-silence is a form of acceptance. It’s not supporting the women who are coming forward. It’s not helping … and if enough people make enough of a fuss, maybe we can get a culture that starts to listen,” Thomas says.

Reading her story brings tears to my eyes and enrages me. She remained silent because she felt no one would support her. And that’s what happens in our culture. People don’t support victims of sexual assault and rape. They blame them for their assault. They tell victims what not to wear, where not to go, who not to hang out with. They give all sorts of “advice” to sexual assault victims. But support? There’s far too little of that to go around. This is one of the reasons that many victims of sexual assault and rape stay silent. If no one is going to support you…if no one is going to believe you, why speak up? And this is something that flies over the head of Cosby’s attorney:

Cosby’s attorney has called the spate of sexual assault accusations against the comedian “ridiculous.”

Martin D. Singer said in a statement it defies common sense that “so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”

Here’s the thing Mr. Singer-if you pay attention to what the victims are saying, you will learn exactly why they remained silent. But no, you don’t even have the decency to listen to them and actually pay attention to their words. You dismiss them out of hand. I’ve been trying to cut back on insulting others a little bit, but your callousness and indifference to the sexual assault of one woman, let alone three dozen, enrages me. You and your serial rapist client are morally contemptuous assholes who most likely have no compassion to spare for former models Linda Brown and Lise-Lotte Lublin, who recently spoke about their horrible encounters with Bill Cosby:

Brown said she was 21 when she met Cosby in 1969 at a restaurant in Toronto. She went to his hotel room, because he wanted to give her a gift, and when she got there he gave her a soft drink. She took a sip, blacked out, and woke up naked in bed with him, where she says she was raped.

“I felt like a rad doll and like a real-life blow-up doll for him” she said. “I felt dirty, ashamed and embarrassed,” and fooled into believing that Cosby was “nice, trustworthy and honorable.”

“I want people to know who Mr. Cosby really is: He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and if you trust him then he has fooled you as well,” she said.

Lublin was 23 when she met Cosby in 1989 in a Las Vegas hotel where he sought to evaluate her acting skills. He insisted she have a drink to relax.

“I trusted him because of who he was, and how well he was respected around the world,” she said. “The taste was horrible and unfamiliar to me because I was not a drinker.”

She fell into a stupor, remembers Cosby wrapping himself around her and stroking her hair and then she passed out. She woke up at home with no memory of how she got there although her car was in the driveway.

“Bill Cosby appears to think that rape is a joke,” she said. “Let me tell you something, Bill, I’m not laughing.”

She vowed to lead a campaign to press Nevada legislators to throw out the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Such a change would not help in her case or in the cases of most of the women who have accused Cosby.

“I will do everything in my power to change the law that protects criminals and re-victimizes the innocent,” she said.

For his part, Cosby continues to deny the dozens of allegations against him. On Wednesday, he released a statement saying:

Dear Fans: For 53 years you have given me your love, support, respect and trust. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your smiling faces and warm your hearts with a wonderful gift — LAUGHTER. I’m ready!

I thank you, the theatre staff (Heymann Performing Arts Center), the event organizers and the Lafayette Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment. Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m far from finished. Sincerely, Bill Cosby.

Yes, we know you’re not finished (you are at NBC though). You continue to press on with your North American tour (which you laughably tout as “family, fun entertainment”). You do so because you still have supporters. You still have people who refuse to believe you’re a serial rapist. You still have people who think your carefully crafted media image represents the type of person you are. I know that there are many people, especially African-Americans, who are having difficulty reconciling the idea of a much-loved, well-respected icon being a rapist. The doors you’ve opened for others, the paths you’ve helped pave, the barriers you’ve helped shatter…these are things that people rightly appreciate. Hell, I appreciate the work you’ve done.

However.

In spite of your accomplishments, you are still a human being. You are not a peerless paragon of perfection untainted by human foibles. You are a complex, flawed, human being. Your flaws exist alongside your accomplishments. You are the first African-American to star in a weekly prime-time television series. You are also a serial rapist. You brought Cliff Huxtable to life and in the process, presented an image of African-American families that helped shatter racial stereotypes. You are also a peddler of the bullshit that is respectability politics. I recognize that it’s difficult for many out there to view you in this nuanced manner. You’re an icon. You’re an inspiration. You’re a hero. But there’s a problem with that.

Elevating humans to hero status often results in flaws being ignored. Commendable attributes are praised while flaws are rationalized, downplayed, or ignored. Biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins is admired and well-respected in the atheist community for (among other things) helping to lead people away from religion. And yet, he’s a Rape Culture apologist–a fact that many of his supporters deny. The late Mother Teresa is lauded the world over as a saint and a hero who did much to help poor people and those in need. In response to the question “Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?“, Mother Teresa once said “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people“. Despite Mother Teresa’s endorsement of human suffering as a good thing (or any of the other criticisms against her), there are many people who still view her as a saint whose shit smelled like roses. Even after allegations of doping arose, fans across the world continued to idolize Lance Armstrong, refusing to entertain the idea that the seven-time Tour de France winner used drugs to enhance his performance. I suspect that even after his admission of drug use, he still has supporters. Elevating humans to iconic or heroic status brings with it the danger of their follies being ignored, rationalized, or even outright ignored. What’s worse, when that icon or hero is discovered to have done something decidedly unheroic-like say, sexually assaulting 36 women-it can be difficult for some to accept that the person they admired and held up as virtuous is actually a flawed human being. That’s a problem currently facing Lee Daniels, co-creator of the television series ‘Empire‘. Daniels recently sat down for an interview with CNNs very own peddler of respectability politics, Don Lemon:

“It is very, very hard, and what bothers me most is if there is an iota of truth to this … the one person of color that means the most to me is pulled down,” Daniels told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday. “If he is guilty, it says that we are human, which is what I like to examine with every character that I breathe life to. We are not black, it is not white — it’s grey. We are all complicated, and we all like to point fingers and drag people down and drag people through the mud when stuff ain’t right. What’s fascinating is it’s not going to change. I pray for him. I pray for him. I’m sad. I am wrecked by it, I am gutted by it. He’s a man. And the victims, you know?”

Oh dear Isis, where to start? Oh yeah, with his doubt over the accusations. “If there is an iota of truth to this” indicates that Daniels is uncertain whether or not Cosby is a rapist. Unfortunately, that means he still has doubts about whether 36 women are being truthful. Remember upthread when I discussed believing rape victims? This is what Daniels needs to do. No one is asking him to place Bill Cosby in the mental file marked rapist for all time and never adjust his opinion of the guy. We’re saying “believe the women”. If it turns out that all 36 of them are lying, then he can adjust his opinion. If we’re ever going to see a reduction in incidents of rape and sexual assault, it is vital that we support victims.

Then there’s the confusing comment “if he’s guilty, it says that we are human…”. Whether he’s guilty or innocent doesn’t change the biological fact that Bill Cosby is a human being. He’s not some highly advanced human who no longer has flaws. He’s not an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. He’s not some non-human species of animal. This is exactly why it’s problematic to have heroes. No matter what he’s done, Cosby is still a human being. Understand that Mr. Daniels, and you might begin to understand how Bill Cosby can be both an inspiration and a sexual predator.

As for the rest, I’ll simply restate what I said elsewhere:

I’m sad too.
I’m sad for the 36 women who were sexually assaulted or raped by Bill Cosby.
I’m sad that according to Jennifer Lee Pryor (widow of the late Richard Pryor) Cosby’s actions were a well-kept secret in Hollywood.
I’m sad that people around the world are leaping to the defense of a man they know precious little about, and are taking his word over the word of 3 dozen women (implying in the process that they are lying and he is being truthful). Given the rape statistics which are readily available to anyone reading this, it makes far more sense to believe victims when they allege that they were attacked (and if it turns out that a victim is lying-which doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as too many people believe–you amend your opinion).
I’m sad that so many people still think of rapists as “men who jump out of the bushes and attack random women”, rather than people whom the victims know.
I’m sad that Bill Cosby likely won’t face the inside of a prison cell.
I’m sad that people think Bill Cosby is just like the warm, affable, fictional characters he’s played on television shows.
So yeah, I’m with you on the sadness. Not the prayer thing though. That’s a complete waste of time.

I’ll add one more thing: I’m not sad for Bill Cosby. He’s a scumbag.

I'm sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

I’m sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

As part of his October 2014 stand-up act, comedian Hannibal Buress reminded the country of the sexual assault allegations surrounding fellow comedian Bill Cosby. Referring to him as “the f–king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate”, Buress went on to say:

“He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,'” Buress mocked. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”

Buress couldn’t have known, but his comments served as the catalyst for many of Cosby’s victims to speak up publicly about their assault at his hands.  While a handful of his victims had already publicly accused Cosby of raping them (Andrea Constand, Beth Ferrier, and Tamara Green), it turns out there were many, many more.  As the number of accusations increased, more victims chose to speak up publicly, some for the first time.  Barbara Bowman was among the first women to allege that Cosby sexually assaulted her. Days later, Joan Tarshis came forward with her own allegations. Then there was Janice Dickinson, followed by Therese Serignese and Carla FerrignoLouisa MoritzAngela Leslie, and Linda Joy TraitzMichelle Hurd, Renita Chaney Hill, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Kristina Ruehli, Jewel AllisonJena T, Judy Huth, Chelan, Helen Hayes, P.J. Masten, Beverly Johnson, Chloe Goins, Lisa, Lachelle Covington, Shawn Brown, Donna Motsinger, Katherine McGee, Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, Kasey, and Cindra Ladd.

Recently, three more women have spoken up, raising the total number of allegations against Bill Cosby to three dozen. Heidi Thomas decided to speak up and her story mirrors the stories of so many of Cosby’s victims. 30 years ago, she was questioning her career choices when she was given the opportunity to meet Bill Cosby. Seeing this as a way to further her career, Thomas journeyed to Reno, Nevada, in the hopes that Cosby would coach her and help her develop her acting skills.

Thomas says she was picked up by limousine at the airport in Reno. She questioned the driver because she remembered seeing the city lights behind her as they drove away. Thomas says she was confused because the postcard she bought at the airport showed Harrah’s as being in the middle of town.

The driver told her that a friend let Cosby use their house outside Reno so “he doesn’t have to deal with all of the paparazzi,” Thomas says.

Thomas says Cosby greeted her at the door of the sprawling house, and later, the coaching began.

She says she performed a monologue, and when she finished, Cosby asked her to do a cold read of a person who was intoxicated.

According to Thomas, Cosby wasn’t impressed. Thomas wasn’t much of a drinker.

“How are you ever going play an intoxicated person … if you’ve never been drunk?” she says he told her.

She says Cosby wanted her to relax, and he gave her a glass of Chablis.

Thomas admits that her memory of the next few hours is “foggy,” but she says that at one point, he may have asked her something like, (Are you) “feeling the part now?” or “Feeling the lines now?”

Thomas says that when she woke up, Cosby was next to her in bed, naked and “forcing himself in my mouth.” She says she remembers feeling like she wanted to throw up.

Soon after, Thomas says, Cosby was getting on top of her again and referring to himself in the third person.

“I’m your friend … your friend is gonna (ejaculate) again,” Thomas remembers him saying.

Rather than get angry with Cosby, Thomas says, she made excuses and asked herself, “What’s happened? Why am I here? Why is he naked? What did I say? What did I do?”

Thomas says she remembers eventually storming out of the room and slamming the door, and then apologizing for being “rude.” The next thing she can remember is riding with Cosby to his show. She says the rest of her memory is spotty: She recalls a cook offering her strawberries and having wine with Cosby before his show. But, she says, she doesn’t remember much more from the four-day trip.

Thomas says that months after the incident in Reno, she learned Cosby was going to be in St. Louis. She says she traveled there and was able see him backstage after one of his shows, but never talked to him about what happened in Reno. She was never alone with him, she says.

“There’s another thing I wish I could explain,” she says of the trip. “[The] closest thing I can say here is I just wanted to make this right … I’m still not thinking I’ve been abused. I’m thinking this is all my fault.” Thomas says she wanted to see if Cosby really thought she had talent.

That was 1984 — and Thomas says that she’s been haunted in the years since, thinking that maybe she’d brought it on herself. She chose not to confide in anyone, including her agent or the talent agency.

But Thomas says everything changed a few weeks ago when she learned that her mother knew something had happened in Reno. Thomas says she learned this from a friend; her mother had never mentioned a word of it to her in all these years.

Indeed, Johnson says Thomas called her from Reno back in 1984 after her first full day there and after the alleged incident. Thomas says she doesn’t remember making that call, but her mother has little trouble recollecting the confusion and anguish she felt hundreds of miles away.

“I remember standing in the kitchen thrilled to hear from my daughter. She was excited.” Johnson remembers making some small talk when she said Thomas said something very disturbing.

“I did something wrong and … I got away and slammed the door,” Johnson remembers her daughter telling her.

Johnson says she continued trying to get more information from her daughter on the phone.

“‘Did he rape you?’ She said, ‘No, I got away.'”

Johnson says she wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. “I couldn’t reach her. I couldn’t touch her. I didn’t know anyone in Reno to send her to. She was on the other side of the earth.”

Thomas says she returned to Denver with no memory of the flight or the ride home with her parents.

“I don’t remember seeing them. What did we say to each other? How did she look? I-I-I have nothing.”

Johnson says she decided not to mention the phone call — or let on that she knew in any way — because she just wanted “things get back to normal” for her daughter.

Thomas has never spoken publicly about this incident, until now. She says finding out that her mother knew all along was what freed her to speak.

“I finally find out that she knows, that Dad knows, that they are supporting me if I want to go public…Then it became full steam ahead, I want to empower people.”

“I was beginning to think though…that whole keeping-your-silence is a form of acceptance. It’s not supporting the women who are coming forward. It’s not helping … and if enough people make enough of a fuss, maybe we can get a culture that starts to listen,” Thomas says.

Reading her story brings tears to my eyes and enrages me. She remained silent because she felt no one would support her. And that’s what happens in our culture. People don’t support victims of sexual assault and rape. They blame them for their assault. They tell victims what not to wear, where not to go, who not to hang out with. They give all sorts of “advice” to sexual assault victims. But support? There’s far too little of that to go around. This is one of the reasons that many victims of sexual assault and rape stay silent. If no one is going to support you…if no one is going to believe you, why speak up? And this is something that flies over the head of Cosby’s attorney:

Cosby’s attorney has called the spate of sexual assault accusations against the comedian “ridiculous.”

Martin D. Singer said in a statement it defies common sense that “so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”

Here’s the thing Mr. Singer-if you pay attention to what the victims are saying, you will learn exactly why they remained silent. But no, you don’t even have the decency to listen to them and actually pay attention to their words. You dismiss them out of hand. I’ve been trying to cut back on insulting others a little bit, but your callousness and indifference to the sexual assault of one woman, let alone three dozen, enrages me. You and your serial rapist client are morally contemptuous assholes who most likely have no compassion to spare for former models Linda Brown and Lise-Lotte Lublin, who recently spoke about their horrible encounters with Bill Cosby:

Brown said she was 21 when she met Cosby in 1969 at a restaurant in Toronto. She went to his hotel room, because he wanted to give her a gift, and when she got there he gave her a soft drink. She took a sip, blacked out, and woke up naked in bed with him, where she says she was raped.

“I felt like a rad doll and like a real-life blow-up doll for him” she said. “I felt dirty, ashamed and embarrassed,” and fooled into believing that Cosby was “nice, trustworthy and honorable.”

“I want people to know who Mr. Cosby really is: He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and if you trust him then he has fooled you as well,” she said.

Lublin was 23 when she met Cosby in 1989 in a Las Vegas hotel where he sought to evaluate her acting skills. He insisted she have a drink to relax.

“I trusted him because of who he was, and how well he was respected around the world,” she said. “The taste was horrible and unfamiliar to me because I was not a drinker.”

She fell into a stupor, remembers Cosby wrapping himself around her and stroking her hair and then she passed out. She woke up at home with no memory of how she got there although her car was in the driveway.

“Bill Cosby appears to think that rape is a joke,” she said. “Let me tell you something, Bill, I’m not laughing.”

She vowed to lead a campaign to press Nevada legislators to throw out the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Such a change would not help in her case or in the cases of most of the women who have accused Cosby.

“I will do everything in my power to change the law that protects criminals and re-victimizes the innocent,” she said.

For his part, Cosby continues to deny the dozens of allegations against him. On Wednesday, he released a statement saying:

Dear Fans: For 53 years you have given me your love, support, respect and trust. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your smiling faces and warm your hearts with a wonderful gift — LAUGHTER. I’m ready!

I thank you, the theatre staff (Heymann Performing Arts Center), the event organizers and the Lafayette Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment. Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m far from finished. Sincerely, Bill Cosby.

Yes, we know you’re not finished (you are at NBC though). You continue to press on with your North American tour (which you laughably tout as “family, fun entertainment”). You do so because you still have supporters. You still have people who refuse to believe you’re a serial rapist. You still have people who think your carefully crafted media image represents the type of person you are. I know that there are many people, especially African-Americans, who are having difficulty reconciling the idea of a much-loved, well-respected icon being a rapist. The doors you’ve opened for others, the paths you’ve helped pave, the barriers you’ve helped shatter…these are things that people rightly appreciate. Hell, I appreciate the work you’ve done.

However.

In spite of your accomplishments, you are still a human being. You are not a peerless paragon of perfection untainted by human foibles. You are a complex, flawed, human being. Your flaws exist alongside your accomplishments. You are the first African-American to star in a weekly prime-time television series. You are also a serial rapist. You brought Cliff Huxtable to life and in the process, presented an image of African-American families that helped shatter racial stereotypes. You are also a peddler of the bullshit that is respectability politics. I recognize that it’s difficult for many out there to view you in this nuanced manner. You’re an icon. You’re an inspiration. You’re a hero. But there’s a problem with that.

Elevating humans to hero status often results in flaws being ignored. Commendable attributes are praised while flaws are rationalized, downplayed, or ignored. Biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins is admired and well-respected in the atheist community for (among other things) helping to lead people away from religion. And yet, he’s a Rape Culture apologist–a fact that many of his supporters deny. The late Mother Teresa is lauded the world over as a saint and a hero who did much to help poor people and those in need. In response to the question “Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?“, Mother Teresa once said “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people“. Despite Mother Teresa’s endorsement of human suffering as a good thing (or any of the other criticisms against her), there are many people who still view her as a saint whose shit smelled like roses. Even after allegations of doping arose, fans across the world continued to idolize Lance Armstrong, refusing to entertain the idea that the seven-time Tour de France winner used drugs to enhance his performance. I suspect that even after his admission of drug use, he still has supporters. Elevating humans to iconic or heroic status brings with it the danger of their follies being ignored, rationalized, or even outright ignored. What’s worse, when that icon or hero is discovered to have done something decidedly unheroic-like say, sexually assaulting 36 women-it can be difficult for some to accept that the person they admired and held up as virtuous is actually a flawed human being. That’s a problem currently facing Lee Daniels, co-creator of the television series ‘Empire‘. Daniels recently sat down for an interview with CNNs very own peddler of respectability politics, Don Lemon:

“It is very, very hard, and what bothers me most is if there is an iota of truth to this … the one person of color that means the most to me is pulled down,” Daniels told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday. “If he is guilty, it says that we are human, which is what I like to examine with every character that I breathe life to. We are not black, it is not white — it’s grey. We are all complicated, and we all like to point fingers and drag people down and drag people through the mud when stuff ain’t right. What’s fascinating is it’s not going to change. I pray for him. I pray for him. I’m sad. I am wrecked by it, I am gutted by it. He’s a man. And the victims, you know?”

Oh dear Isis, where to start? Oh yeah, with his doubt over the accusations. “If there is an iota of truth to this” indicates that Daniels is uncertain whether or not Cosby is a rapist. Unfortunately, that means he still has doubts about whether 36 women are being truthful. Remember upthread when I discussed believing rape victims? This is what Daniels needs to do. No one is asking him to place Bill Cosby in the mental file marked rapist for all time and never adjust his opinion of the guy. We’re saying “believe the women”. If it turns out that all 36 of them are lying, then he can adjust his opinion. If we’re ever going to see a reduction in incidents of rape and sexual assault, it is vital that we support victims.

Then there’s the confusing comment “if he’s guilty, it says that we are human…”. Whether he’s guilty or innocent doesn’t change the biological fact that Bill Cosby is a human being. He’s not some highly advanced human who no longer has flaws. He’s not an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. He’s not some non-human species of animal. This is exactly why it’s problematic to have heroes. No matter what he’s done, Cosby is still a human being. Understand that Mr. Daniels, and you might begin to understand how Bill Cosby can be both an inspiration and a sexual predator.

As for the rest, I’ll simply restate what I said elsewhere:

I’m sad too.
I’m sad for the 36 women who were sexually assaulted or raped by Bill Cosby.
I’m sad that according to Jennifer Lee Pryor (widow of the late Richard Pryor) Cosby’s actions were a well-kept secret in Hollywood.
I’m sad that people around the world are leaping to the defense of a man they know precious little about, and are taking his word over the word of 3 dozen women (implying in the process that they are lying and he is being truthful). Given the rape statistics which are readily available to anyone reading this, it makes far more sense to believe victims when they allege that they were attacked (and if it turns out that a victim is lying-which doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as too many people believe–you amend your opinion).
I’m sad that so many people still think of rapists as “men who jump out of the bushes and attack random women”, rather than people whom the victims know.
I’m sad that Bill Cosby likely won’t face the inside of a prison cell.
I’m sad that people think Bill Cosby is just like the warm, affable, fictional characters he’s played on television shows.
So yeah, I’m with you on the sadness. Not the prayer thing though. That’s a complete waste of time.

I’ll add one more thing: I’m not sad for Bill Cosby. He’s a scumbag.

I’m sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

How many allegations will it take for people to believe Bill Cosby is a rapist?

“O you who believe, if you borrow until a delayed period then you will write it amongst you, and let he who is an official record keeper write between you, and let him not refuse to write as God has commanded it. And when he writes, let he who has borrowed give the details of the transaction and he shall fear his Lord God and not omit anything. If the one who has borrowed is not fit, or if he is weak, or if he can’t complete the information; then let he who is responsible for him fill-in on his behalf. And you shall have TWO witnesses from your men, and if they are not two men then let them be ONE man and TWO women from those whose testimony you accept, so if one of them is misguided , then one will remind the other…..” (2/282)

As you can see from this excerpt from the Islamic holy book, the Quran, it takes two women to equal the testimony of one man. Yeah, that’s sexist as all get out, but compared to Bill Cosby’s rape allegation deniers, that’s downright enlightened. In the comments sections of article after article, you can find Cosby’s defenders vehemently denying the accusations against him. There’s even a Facebook page titled ‘Bill Cosby is innocent until proven guilty’ (yeah, these people, like many USAmericans do not understand that ‘innocent til proven guilty’ only applies to the inside of a courtroom). None of them has a shred of evidence to support their opinion. I suspect they’re basing their opinion on Cosby’s body of work as if his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable or his comedic skills somehow means he can’t be a rapist.  Just because he is/was a successful comedian…just because he portrayed a warm, loving father on the Cosby Show, that makes him NOT a rapist?  Uh-uh. That’s not how that works. In fact, his body of work has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not he raped anyone. The flip side of these views, of course, is that all those women and their allegations? They’re lying liars who lie. No, we don’t live in a rape culture where people automatically assume women are lying when they claim they were raped. Le sigh.

Random commenters on the Internet are not the only people leaping to the defense of Cosby.  Some of his former co-workers and other celebrities have also jumped to his defense.  Phylicia Rashad (who played Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show) recently broke her silence on the subject:

She stands defiantly behind him. She told me that in the years she’s known him, she has never seen the behavior alleged by the women who say they were drugged and raped, or sexually harassed.

Why would she expect to see such behavior? In virtually all the cases, the assaults happened with no witnesses. Of course she wouldn’t have seen any such behavior! He drugged and assaulted these women in private.

Rashad said:  “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”

No, what you’re seeing is women who have decided to remain silent no longer. They’ve been harmed by him, and kept quiet, sometimes for decades. As more women spoke up, those who were silent found the courage to speak up, despite the inevitable backlash from Cosby’s fans.

Rashad dismisses claims from both Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson. “Oh, please,” she said when their names came up. She also is quick to defend Camille Cosby. “This is a tough woman, a smart woman,” she told me. “She’s no pushover.” There is no question, Rashad said, that Camille Cosby has not been complicit or looked the other way as her husband terrorized women for the last 50 years.

“Oh please”? Well, I guess that is all that is needed to refute Johnson and Dickinson. Oh, wait. No. It’s fucking not. I’m so tired of people automatically assuming women are lying when they allege that they were raped. This is one of the reasons so many women don’t speak up, because people assume they’re lying. If no one is going to believe you, then why speak up? What justice can be had if you’re treated as a liar?

She said, “Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV,” alluding to people other than the women. “And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled.”

Good. Rapists should not get their own television shows.

We talked more about the legacy of The Cosby Show. “This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”

The ‘Cosby Show’ has not been destroyed. It still exists. It still had a tremendous impact on how African-Americans are viewed in this country. It’s still a landmark series that helped show that Black people were just as diverse as white people, and I’m sure it helped chip away at some of the prejudices held by many USAmericans.

She said Cosby himself is probably too proud to raise a defense. I countered that his silence reminded me of how Jerry Lewis reacted whe, after 50 years. the Muscular Dystrophy Association treated him like dirt. He refused to fight back. To quote a popular song from the 70s: “If you don’t know me by now, you will never never know me.”

Cosby has mounted a defense, via his legal team. That defense has consisted of exactly the same shit Rashad has said: those women are lying.

So what to do about Cosby’s accusers? Rashad feels strongly that some other force is at play– for some reason, Cosby’s great strides in education, as well as show business, are being ruined so that new generations will only remember him by this scandal. And what about a defense from the man himself? “If he spoke now, what do you think the media would do with it?” Rashad asked. And let’s face it, she’s right about that.

This is so damn sad. It’s easier to believe in a far-reaching, vast conspiracy spanning decades and involving over 30 women than it is to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist.  Uh huh.

Artist Jill Scott has also defended the comedian:

It’s great that you know him, buuuuuuuut…I hate to break this to you, rapes are often committed by people the victim knows. According to RAINN:

Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
28% are an intimate.
7% are a relative.

So this “I knew him and you didn’t, therefore he’s not a rapist” is naught but bullshit.

Camille and Evin Cosby (wife and daughter of the comedian) also defended him, saying:

“He is a kind man, a generous man, a funny man,” Cosby’s wife Camille said in a statement first reported by CBS on Monday. “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.”

Cosby’s youngest daughter, Evin, followed up by praising her parents in a lengthy Facebook post.

Then, in a statement obtained by Access Hollywood on Tuesday, Evin said this:

“He is the father you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today’s TV reality show. Thank you. That’s all I would like to say :)”

I fully understand why family members would be in denial. But for all that they love, respect, and trust him…well, I’d point to those RAINN statistics again. I’m sure he has been loving and respectful to his family, but he’s also been a serial rapist.

While Cosby’s defenders are busy denying the allegations against him, the number of victims has continued to rise (33 named women have spoken up). Cindra Ladd is the latest woman to publicly accuse Cosby of rape:

In 1969 I met Bill Cosby while working in New York for the late film producer Ray Stark. I was a 21-year-old single woman in the world’s most exciting city. He was a 32-year-old internationally known comedian and television star, one of the most likeable and popular entertainers in the business. He asked for my number and I gave it to him.

We began hanging out, took in a movie, watched television and ate pizza and hot dogs in my apartment with my roommate. He was married to his current wife and he acted like a perfect gentleman who didn’t come on to either of us, which, I have to admit, made me wonder what his objective was.

One night we were going out to a movie. We agreed to meet at an apartment that he said belonged to a friend of his. I had a terrible headache but didn’t want to cancel the evening. He told me he had a miracle cure his doctor had given him that would get rid of the headache. He went into another room and came back with a capsule. I asked a couple of times what it was. Each time he reassured me, asking, “Don’t you trust me?” Of course I did. This was Bill Cosby.

For more than 45 years I have tried to recall exactly what happened that night. To this day it remains a blur. I have a vague recollection of feeling like I was floating while walking through Times Square and watching some kind of Japanese samurai movie with him. I don’t remember where the theater was nor very much of the evening.

What I do recall, vividly and clearly, is waking up the next morning nude in the bed of his friend’s apartment and seeing Cosby wearing a white terrycloth bathrobe and acting as if there was nothing unusual. It was obvious to me that he had had sex with me. I was horrified, embarrassed and ashamed. There was a mirror above the bed, which shocked me further.

To Cosby’s defenders, Ladd is lying. She has an agenda. She is part of a vast conspiracy to keep Cosby off of television. To me, she is a brave woman who spoke up about being drugged and raped by a man whom many people continue to hold up as an icon.

I have to wonder, how long will people continue to think he’s a great man? Can you watch this clip and still think of Cosby as a good man who would never violate the boundaries of women and ignore their consent?

(source)

As Jay Leno said when he spoke about the allegations surrounding Billy Cosby, why is it so hard to believe women?


For a no-holds-barred skewering of Cosby, check out the second episode of Larry Willmore’s Nightly Show.

How many allegations will it take for people to believe Bill Cosby is a rapist?

Bill Cosby is not being intimidated

Over at U.S. News & World Report, Peter Roff shares his thoughts on the sexual assault and rape allegations surrounding Bill Cosby. In his eyes, the court of public opinion has intimidated Bill Cosby:

Now that he stands accused of heinous acts against women, it has severely tarnished his star. I don’t know if he’s guilty as alleged; I don’t know that he’s guilty at all. What I do know is he is a very big target with an even bigger bankroll and that things may not be as they seem. There are two sides to every story, and he has yet to tell his. Is it possible that some people have come forward to tell a story because they see a big payday at the end of it all? Sure – just as it is possible that he did everything he is now accused of. What is important is that people keep, as Cosby himself has urged, an open mind.

I couldn’t find a way to comment over at U.S. News & World Report, otherwise, I’d have given Mr. Roff a piece of my mind.
Cosby is NOT…I repeat NOT…urging anyone to keep an open mind. What he’s doing is asking people to dismiss the allegations of 24+ women*.  Why should we dismiss their claims? Why should we believe that the claims are outrageous or nonsensical? I suspect he’s appealing to his public image. A public image shaped largely by (IMO) the character of Cliff Huxtable. A character who was warm, affable, and lovable. A character that many people view as interchangeable with Bill Cosby himself. If Cliff Huxtable was no rapist, then Bill Cosby is no rapist.

Logic. Logic. Wherefore art thou, logic?

Meanwhile, those who have come to his defense have been marginalized or shunned. TV Land has pulled “Cosby Show” reruns from its lineup; a planned sitcom with Cosby has allegedly been shelved; and his schedule of appearances seems to have been curtailed. In the court of public opinion, he has been found guilty without trial on the basis of how the media has hyped the allegations made against him.

Oh dear. A tv network removed the “Cosby Show” as a way to distance themselves from a celebrity accused of sexual assault and rape. OMG! That’s like, the worst of the worst that could happen to Cosby.
And, once again, someone whines about the public judging the actions of an individual as if the public has the same power as a court of law. Mr. Roff might be shocked to learn this but:

The “court” of public opinion ain’t a real courtroom.

The standards of a courtroom exist to offer protection to the accused. To ensure that they receive a fair trial, bc the outcome of a trial can determine the future freedom, or even the very life (depending on the case), of the accused. The decisions civilians make don’t hold the same power. We don’t have the power to imprison him. We don’t have the power to take his money and dispense it to his victims. We don’t have the power to sentence him to death. We are not bound by the rules of the courtroom bc the most power we have over Cosby is making him a social pariah. Not buying his books. Not watching his tv shows. Not watching his stand-up performances.

Also, I love how he plays the anti-media card. The media hasn’t “hyped” the stories of the 24 women who have come forward to tell their stories. The media has given voices to these women. The media has allowed these women to tell their stories. The women have been granted a platform to tell their stories. The media does this. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, none of the articles I’ve read about the various allegations has offered any judgement of Bill Cosby.

Given how Mr. Roff criticizes the media for doing nothing more than reporting on these allegations, it seems to me, he’d prefer they NOT have done so. IOW…the stories of sexual assault and rape victims are not newsworthy material. They should not be reported on.  At least that’s my take-away from Roff’s whining.

*I’d also like to point out that dismissing or ignoring the claims of victims of sexual assault or rape is one of the many manifestations of Rape Culture in our society.

Bill Cosby is not being intimidated

3 more women come forward with accusations against Bill Cosby

At last count 23 women had stepped forward and accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging, sexually assaulting, or raping them. That number has risen by three more. In an article at Vanity Fair, former supermodel Beverly Johnson revealed that Cosby drugged her in the 80s:

Looking back, that first invite from Cosby to his home seems like part of a perfectly laid out plan, a way to make me feel secure with him at all times. It worked like a charm. Cosby suggested I come back to his house a few days later to read for the part. I agreed, and one late afternoon the following week I returned. His staff served a light dinner and Bill and I talked more about my plans for the future.

After the meal, we walked upstairs to a huge living area of his home that featured a massive bar. A huge brass espresso contraption took up half the counter. At the time, it seemed rare for someone to have such a machine in his home for personal use.

Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested that I pretend to be drunk. (When did a pregnant woman ever appear drunk on The Cosby Show? Probably never, but I went with it.)

As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine. I told him I didn’t drink coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn’t let it go. He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model on the market and promised I’d never tasted a cappuccino quite like this one.

It’s nuts, I know, but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sips of the coffee just to appease him.

Now let me explain this: I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs flowed at parties and photo shoots like bottled water at a health spa. I’d had my fun and experimented with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged—and drugged good.

[Editor’s Note: Cosby’s attorneys did not respond to Vanity Fair’s requests for comment.]

My head became woozy, my speech became slurred, and the room began to spin nonstop. Cosby motioned for me to come over to him as though we were really about to act out the scene. He put his hands around my waist, and I managed to put my hand on his shoulder in order to steady myself.

As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic-survival mode. That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment.

“You are a motherfucker aren’t you?”

That’s the exact question I yelled at him as he stood there holding me, expecting me to bend to his will. I rapidly called him several more “motherfuckers.” By the fifth, I could tell that I was really pissing him off. At one point he dropped his hands from my waist and just stood there looking at me like I’d lost my mind.

What happened next is somewhat cloudy for me because the drug was in fuller play by that time. I recall his seething anger at my tirade and then him grabbing me by my left arm hard and yanking all 110 pounds of me down a bunch of stairs as my high heels clicked and clacked on every step. I feared my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs.

It was still late afternoon and the sun hadn’t completely gone down yet. When we reached the front door, he pulled me outside of the brownstone and then, with his hand still tightly clenched around my arm, stood in the middle of the street waving down taxis.

When one stopped, Cosby opened the door, shoved me into it and slammed the door behind me without ever saying a word. I somehow managed to tell the driver my address and before blacking out, I looked at the cabbie and asked, as if he knew: “Did I really just call Bill Cosby ‘a motherfucker’?”

Why that was even a concern of mine after what I’d just been through is still a mystery to me? I think my mind refused to process it.

The next day I woke up in my own bed after falling into a deep sleep that lasted most of the day. I had no memory of how I got into my apartment or into my bed, though most likely my doorman helped me out.

I sat in there still stunned by what happened the night before, confused and devastated by the idea that someone I admired so much had tried to take advantage of me, and used drugs to do so. Had I done something to encourage his actions?

In reality, I knew I’d done nothing to encourage Cosby but my mind kept turning with question after question.

It took a few days for the drug to completely wear off and soon I had to get back to work. I headed to California for an acting audition. Not long after arriving, I decided I needed to confront Cosby for my own sanity’s sake. I thought if I just called him, he would come clean and explain why he’d done what he had.

I dialed the private number he’d given me expecting to hear his voice on the other end. But he didn’t answer. His wife did. A little shocked, I quickly identified myself to her in the most respectful way possible and then asked to speak to Bill. Camille politely informed me that it was very late, 11:00 P.M. and that they were both in bed together.

I apologized for the late call and explained that I was in Los Angeles and had forgotten about the three-hour time difference. I added that I would call back tomorrow.

I didn’t call back the next day or any other day after that. At a certain moment it became clear that I would be fighting a losing battle with a powerful man so callous he not only drugged me, but he also gave me the number to the bedroom he shared with his wife. How could I fight someone that boldly arrogant and out of touch? In the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby. I had a career that would no doubt take a huge hit if I went public with my story and I certainly couldn’t afford that after my costly divorce and on going court fees.

For a long time I thought it was something that only happened to me, and that I was somehow responsible. So I kept my secret to myself, believing this truth needed to remain in the darkness. But the last four weeks have changed everything, as so many women have shared similar stories, of which the press have belatedly taken heed.

Then there’s Chloe Goins:

One woman in particular who will sit down with LAPD is Chloe Goins. The 24-year-old model recently claimed that Cosby, now 77, spiked her drink and attacked her back in 2008 at the Playboy Mansion.

“I have had lengthy communications with the Los Angeles Police Department and there is now a definitive open investigation which is ongoing for, it’s my understanding, not only with Chloe’s case but other unnamed victims who have yet to be revealed publicly,” Mr. Kuvin added. “They want to get all their information first before sitting down and having an interview with Chloe about her incident. This is scheduled to happen early in the new year.”

Another woman, by the name of Lisa, has also come forward:

In an exclusive interview with Dr. Phil, Lisa speaks out for the first time about her alleged experience as a 21-year-old aspiring model when she says Cosby offered to help her career. She joins more than 20 women who have come forward in the media claiming that the legendary actor drugged and/or sexually assaulted them years ago.

“I was very excited to go and see him. I was star struck. I felt invincible. I couldn’t believe that he wanted to see me,” Lisa tells Dr. Phil. “I got to the hotel, he was a gentlemen and he was respectful and kind. And he seemed very interested in me, and that made me feel very secure in seeing him again … My mother trusted Bill completely.”

But Lisa claims he ended up betraying that trust during a mentoring session in his hotel suite.

 […]

“He made a second drink and had me drink the second drink as well,” she recalls. “I noticed myself getting a little dizzy. Bill had sat down on the edge of the couch. He said, ‘Come over here and have a seat.’ And he had his legs open and when I sat down, I was sitting down in between his legs with my back to his crotch. And he started to stroke my hair back in a petting motion like this. The last thing I remember is just feeling the strokes on my head. After that, I don’t remember anything else.”

Dr. Phil asks, “Do you know if he molested you in some way, do you know, you don’t really know what did happen?”

“No,” responds Lisa, who says she is coming forward after Janice Dickinson’s allegations against Cosby made Lisa concerned for what may have happened to her.

Cosby has remained largely silent in the face of these allegations, apparently at the behest of his lawyers. He did speak up recently with some advice for black media:

Bill Cosby broke his silence Friday, albeit briefly, to lecture the media on remaining “neutral” and to say that his wife is standing by him.

Reached at his Massachusetts home, the star declined to address the rape and sex abuse allegations from an ever-growing list of women that now includes supermodel Beverly Johnson.

Instead, Cosby, 77, said that the African-American media — for which this reporter often writes — should be impartial.

“Let me say this. I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind,” Cosby said.

Two thoughts:

1- A ‘neutral mind’? In the articles I’ve read about the ever-mounting allegations, I haven’t seen the media taking sides. I’ve seen them interviewing the women who have stepped forward with these claims. I guess in Cosby’s eyes, the mere fact that the media is reporting on the subject somehow shows a bias against him.  That’s not true in the slightest.  His call for black media to have a neutral mind sounds to me like someone who wants to silence the women who have bravely stepped forward.

2- In the wake of these allegations, Cosby has been pressed by the media, but aside from his lawyers dismissing the accusations as preposterous, he’s said nothing of substance. He hasn’t personally refuted these women, and even if he did, his word shouldn’t (and in my eyes doesn’t) outweigh even one of these women, let alone 24 of them.  I suspect he’s gambling on the affection the black community has for him, hoping that the love of Cliff Huxtable…the love of the guy who created Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids…the love of the guy who criticizes black men for wearing their pants “down around the crack”…all that love is enough for people to dismiss the charges against him.  Can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s not the case for me.  It doesn’t matter what accomplishments he has. It doesn’t matter how popular he is. It doesn’t matter how beloved he is. At the end of the day this is a question of whether or not to believe the accusations against him.  Me, I believe them.

3 more women come forward with accusations against Bill Cosby

At least 13 Playboy Club waitresses sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby

The number of women that have been sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby continues to rise.  Last week, the number reached 20.  Now it’s risen.

To 33:

According to P.J. Masten, who worked as a “bunny manager” at Playboy’s Chicago club in 1979, she was one of at least 13 Playboy Club waitresses who were sexually assaulted by Cosby when the married comedian was a regular at the club.

“[There are] 12 former bunnies that I know of that are ashamed to come forward, frightened to come forward, married with families, don’t want to come forward.” Masten told CNN‘s Alisyn Camerota. “But they were also drugged and raped by Bill Cosby.”

The details of Masten’s story echo the more than 20 public accusations against Cosby that depict assaults dating back to the 1970s. After offering to take Masten out to dinner, Cosby asked her if she wanted a cocktail in his room beforehand, preparing a glass of Grand Marnier and ice. “The next thing I knew,” Masten says, “it was 4 o’clock in the morning. I woke up in a bed naked, bruised. He was laying next to me, and I slithered out of the bed … I got myself together, I went downstairs, I got in a cab, and went home.”

Masten told CNN that she knew exactly what had happened to her while she was out. “I knew I was raped. There were bruise marks all over me. I knew I was raped by him.”

She says that she told her supervisor at the Playboy Club about the assault, but her allegations fell on deaf ears. “She said to me, ‘You know that’s [Hugh Hefner’s] best friend, right?'” Masten said. “I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘Well, nobody is going to believe you. I suggest you keep your mouth shut.'”

It was only after connecting with other former bunnies on Facebook that Masten realized she wasn’t the only one with horror stories about Cosby. “A couple of [them] private messaged me and said, ‘He did me too. It happened to me, too.'” At least a dozen, by Masten’s count, remain silent.

Yes, Masten is the only one to publicly accuse Cosby, but at this point, I have no problem accepting her word that she knows at least 12 more women whom he assaulted.  How many women did this utter failure of a decent human being sexually assault? Fucking A!

At least 13 Playboy Club waitresses sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby

‘Cosby’ is now a synonym for sexual assault

(image via Mike Luckovich)

With the number of women alleging he sexually assaulted them surpassing 20, I’m beginning to wonder how many more women were victimized by Bill Cosby. How many other women kept silent for years or decades? How many other women felt like no one would believe them and chose to sit on their pain? How many other women felt like this man could help further their career only to be violated by him? How many more women did he ply with alcohol and pills so that he could assault them?
I also wonder how many other Hollywood stars have abused their power and sexually assaulted others.  If Bill Cosby was able to escape justice for decades, who else has?  How many serial rapists are there in Hollywood?

‘Cosby’ is now a synonym for sexual assault