In a new essay on Vanity Fair's website, model and actress Beverly Johnson writes about the time Bill Cosby drugged her. She decided it was time to tell her story because of all the women she's met "who also claim to have been violated by Cosby," and the many women who Johnson says are still afraid to speak up. She also describes watching in horror as her "longtime friend and fellow model Janice Dickinson was raked over the coals for telling her account of rape at Cosby’s hands."
Johnson's encounter with Cosby happened while she was supposed to be auditioning for a role on The Cosby Show. She attended several tapings of the show and even had brunch at Cosby's New York City brownstone with her daughter. In retrospect, Johnson believes all of those interactions had been priming her to trust him.
Cosby invited Johnson to his home again, ostensibly to read for the part and discuss her acting career further. After dinner, he insisted she have a cappuccino from a massive espresso machine. Johnson "knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I'd been drugged — and drugged good."
Her body went limp, her head became woozy, and her speech became slurred. Cosby put his hands around her waist, and Johnson yelled, "You are a motherfucker, aren't you?" She continued to call him a "motherfucker," until it clearly started to bother him.
Johnson has trouble remembering what happened after that because the drug completely took effect. She recalls being yanked down the stairs and put into a taxi. She woke up in her own bed the next day with no memory of getting from the cab to her apartment.
A few days later, Johnson decided to confront Cosby. "I thought if I just called him, he would come clean and explain why he’d done what he had," she writes. When she dialed the private number Cosby had given her, however, his wife picked up the phone and said it was late. Johnson never called back. She felt that would be a losing battle.
"For a long time I thought it was something that only happened to me, and that I was somehow responsible. I kept my secret to myself, believing this truth needed to remain in the darkness," Johnson writes in an extremely powerful paragraph. Bill Cosby's attorney's did not respond to Vanity Fair's requests for comment.
Johnson didn't include the story in her 2013 memoir, either. At the time, she worried it would launch a "he-said/she-said situation." But, she's now joining the other women who have come forward with "their nightmare stories." Her voice must be heard. (Vanity Fair)
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, contact R.A.I.N.N. or call the National Sexual Assault hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).