Cosby’s attorneys did not respond to Vanity Fair’s requests for comment

Another woman has a Bill Cosby story. (No, it’s not a story of how he spotted some guy spiking her drink and gave the guy a damn good talking to. Nope.) Beverly Johnson tells hers in Vanity Fair.

She grew up admiring Cosby. She was delighted when he asked her to audition for a bit part on his show. She met with him in his office and thought he was fabulous. She and her young daughter had lunch at his house and she thought he was even more fabulous.

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.

Then he made her a cappuccino, and she said she didn’t drink coffee that late in the day, and he insisted and she felt mystifyingly (to herself) unable to argue with him.

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.

She was rapidly losing it, so she started shouting at him.

“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.

Then he grabbed her by the arm and yanked her down the stairs and out the front door, hailed a cab, and shoved her into it. She got home – she doesn’t know how – and slept well into the next day. It took days for the drug to wear off completely.

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.

He got away with it for a long long long time. Decades.

Still I struggled with how to reveal my big secret, and more importantly, what would people think when and if I did? Would they dismiss me as an angry black woman intent on ruining the image of one of the most revered men in the African American community over the last 40 years? Or would they see my open and honest account of being betrayed by one of the country’s most powerful, influential, and beloved entertainers?

As I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of the day Bill Cosby drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what, the faces of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other brown and black men took residence in my mind.

As if I needed to be reminded. The current plight of the black male was behind my silence when Barbara Bowman came out to tell the horrific details of being drugged and raped by Cosby to theWashington Post in November. And I watched in horror as my longtime friend and fellow model Janice Dickinson was raked over the coals for telling her account of rape at Cosby’s hands. Over the years I’ve met other women who also claim to have been violated by Cosby. Many are still afraid to speak up. I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true.

So she spoke up.


  1. says

    On top of being able to exploit all the crap ways sexual assault victims are treated by society, and his public persona as beloved comedian and “America’s Dad,” Cosby was lucky he never killed anyone with his drugs. All it would have taken is too big of a dose, or an allergic reaction, and Cosby would be a killer as well as a serial rapist.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    @2 timgueguen: Cosby would’ve just said she arrived already wasted and he was shocked – SHOCKED!! – when she collapsed. And everybody would have taken his account for gospel and gone looking for whoever drugged her before she arrived – or who sold her the drugs (she would have HAD to be a major druggie to OD, right?) – or etc.

    So, Cosby apologists, what does a top supermodel like Beverly Johnson have to gain from such an admission? She’s after his money?? I think not – she’s got PLENTY of money of her own! She wants to get back in the spotlight somehow? Nope. She’s still modeling. So why do you think she’s saying what she’s saying?

    Because it’s true??

  3. Blanche Quizno says

    @3 Ibis3 these jackboots: Interesting comment. There’s an ongoing epidemic of murders of women in Los Angeles:

    The victims were found covered by dirty mattresses or carpets in dirtier alleys, or dumped in trash bags, discarded like garbage. Except for one man, they were all women, and they were all black. Some had drug problems, many had been prostitutes. Most had been shot at close range with a small caliber handgun, but a few were strangled to death. Many had been raped before they were killed.

    Back then, the streets of South Los Angeles, better known to the greater universe as South Central, were littered with the dead and the forgotten. The people were jaded; used to being ignored by the police, and were living with an even worse enemy: the crack epidemic.

    The murders blended in—there were nearly 800 in 1985 in the city, according a Nightline report. In South L.A., over a four-year period, 52 prostitutes were killed—garnering them the nickname, the “strawberry murders,” after a street term for women who traded sex for drugs. According to The Vancouver Sun, a number people were convicted for some of the killings—but 34 of the 52 murders remained unsolved. The police told ABC News at the time, they believed the murders were the work of four or five different men. One of the killers, Michael Hughes, was caught. Another, Chester Turner was sentenced to death. Another, Louis Crane was convicted of strangling four prostitutes and later died in prison.

    [Remainder of comment deleted. OB]

  4. Enkidum says

    Blanche, that’s honestly a very bizarre set of extrapolations. We already know with a pretty high degree of certainty that he’s guilty of some truly heinous crimes. No one has suggested anything like what you’re saying, and I don’t think you’re doing anyone any favours by doing so.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    @5: that is reaching, even for you.

    Was lucky enough to see Katharine Ryan ( last night. She mentioned Cosby. She noted that he doesn’t like being asked whether he’s a rapist. She further noted that convicted rapist Mike Tyson also doesn’t like being asked whether he’s a rapist. She then asked four or five people in the audience whether they’d ever raped anyone, and noted that they seemed happy enough to answer the question. “Y’know who doesn’t like being asked if they’re a rapist? RAPISTS!”. She concluded an excellent hour of standup with a routine about Beyonce that you really have to see. Check her out, she’s brilliant.

  6. Bernard Bumner says

    Of course, Cosby doesn’t need to mount a defence, because for his supporters this stonewalling is simply maintaining a dignified silence. And if he is ever eventually convicted it will be a travesty of justice perpetrated by profiteering seductresses who used this poor old man to grow their own wealth and fame.

    Never mind that none of it makes sense.

    In their minds, it won’t be the actions of the middle-aged predator being punished, but the crushing of this slightly shambolic and confused appearing old man (when he isn’t coining it in by jumping around a stage) .

    This will hit Cosby in the mainstream, but it will also cement an ardent support who will pay to keep him rich if it proves a point.

    Probably the best advice Cosby’s attorneys could give him at this point is to remain silent.

  7. governmentman says

    Probably the best advice Cosby’s attorneys could give him at this point is to remain silent.

    This is the best advice any attorney can give anyone.

  8. SC says

    It’s incredible to me that anyone would believe that 26+ women are making this stuff up for publicity. But it’s also incredible that we torture people in a way that Torquemada would be proud of, write a 500 plus detailed report about it and very few people give a goddamn about it. Or that the Congress is about to pass a bill which will eventually allow banks to get bailed out for their casino capitalism at taxpayers expense that will crash the economy yet again. America is a rotten decaying corpse, but there are still cool new I-Phones to take a look at this Christmas.

  9. lakitha tolbert says

    I’ve already heard from people in the Black community who don’t want to believe it, wonder why this is happening right now, think the women have something to gain from what they’re saying or think its some kind of vast right-wing conspiracy to bring down this doddering, well-loved Black man.
    I try to tell these people, it’s not a new story. It’s an old story that was ignored the first time around, because no one wanted to believe it.
    i want to make these people understand that Black men are still men and they commit sins too.Not every time a Black man gets accused of something is it a conspiracy.

  10. gwen says

    These stories about Cosby have been going around for decades. No one believe them then. He had the ‘kind dad’ persona down pat, and endless power and wealth to squelch the stories or blacklist the women. As for black people not believing the women’s stories, (as a black woman) I can tell you, plenty of whites don’t want o believe it either. Witness the full clubs even after the allegations went public.

  11. Derec Avery says

    Or worse, they believe it’s probably true but just don’t care.

    Or perhaps the attorneys have finally realized that nothing they say is going to change anyone’s mind as to Cosby’s guilt or non-guilt in the eyes of the court of public opinion and have decided the wisest move is to simply not to make any statements regarding any new allegations against their client. As we’ve seen with this blog post they aren’t any worse off if they had made a comment. Ms. Benson would have found some fault with any statement the attorneys might have released and then this post would be excoriating the attorneys for that statement instead of complaining they didn’t make a statement at all.

  12. says

    One of the things I notice about Cosby’s attorney is that he answers with comments that don’t exactly say the claims aren’t true. Merely that they have been “discredited” or whatever. Parse Cosby’s attorneys’ comments carefully: they point toward an attorney that knows the truth and doesn’t want to be on the record as lying about constructive knowledge of a crime.

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