Beverly Johnson Says Bill Cosby Drugged Her in Vanity Fair Interview
Another icon of the ‘70s and ‘80s, model Beverly Johnson has come forward to accuse comedian Bill Cosby of inappropriate behavior. Beverly, the first African American woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue in 1974, has accused the former Jell-O spokesman of drugging her in the mid-80s, after former supermodel Janice Dickinson and a number of other women have made similar claims.
In an essay for Vanity Fairtitled “Bill Cosby Drugged Me. This is My Story.” Beverly, 62, details how Bill invited her to his home to audition for a small role on his hit series The Cosby Show. During the audition, Beverly, who was hoping to break into acting at the time, alleges that Bill, 77, served her a cappuccino that she “knew by the second sip of the drink” was “drugged good.”
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She then alleges that, as she was battling against the swift and powerful effects of the drug, she wanted the comedian to understand “that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment,” so she said to him “You are a motherf—er aren’t you?”
Beverly claims she repeated the line over and over until Bill grew irate. When she wouldn’t stop yelling at him, Beverly alleges that he dragged her down the stairs in his home with a grip she says made her fear “my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs.” Outside, he hailed a cab and placed her in it without a word.
She also says that when she woke up the next day, she “had no memory of how I got into my apartment or into my bed, though most likely my doorman helped me out.” She called Bill to confront him but says his wife, Camille, answered the phone and wouldn’t allow her to speak to Bill as it was late (11 pm) and they were in bed together.
That’s when, Beverly says, she realized “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.”
Beverly cites shame as the reason she stayed silent all these years, believing “for a long time I thought it was something that only happened to me, and that I was somehow responsible.” She also worried about the hit her career would take if she lodged accusations against one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
The model says the recent onslaught of accusations against the actor gave her the courage to come forward. “Now that other women have come forward with their nightmare stories, I join them,” she writes. She also notes the backlash women, such as fellow model Janice Dickinson, have faced since coming forward, writing “I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true.”
She goes on to say that she “had to use my voice as a sister, mother, and grandmother, and as a woman who knows that, according to the C.D.C., nearly one in five women has been sexually assaulted at some time in her life, and that women of color face an even higher attack rate.”
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