Why This Bill Cosby Accuser Is Sharing Her Real Identity

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Things are still getting worse for Bill Cosby: Another formerly anonymous accuser has revealed her name. Jennifer K. “Kaya” Thompson says she's gone public to help advance the case against the embattled comedian. In an interview with People magazine, Thompson said she isn’t part of any of the legal proceedings currently or previously taking place against Cosby for the crimes he allegedly committed; she’s revealing her identity to help support the women who have come forward. “It's come to my understanding that there's greater credibility for my testimony with a full name and an image,” she explained. Thompson was 17 when she met Cosby in 1988, an aspiring model whose agency sent her to visit the entertainer to help bolster her burgeoning career. She told People that he soon started making unwanted advances toward her. Their last encounter reportedly occurred in the late 1980s at Cosby’s NYC home; she remembers that her resolve to fight him off was waning, and she gave in to his pressure to sexually touch him. Adding insult to injury, she says he handed her $700 for giving him a hand job. The pain of Thompson’s experiences was compounded by the fact that, similar to lots of kids during that time, Cosby had been an icon for her and her family when she was growing up. "There was a time when he made me laugh," she told People. "I was raised listening to his albums." Indeed, Cosby’s stellar reputation at the time — and his role as an unofficial pop-culture father-figure to millions of The Cosby Show viewers — was one of the reasons his reported crimes seem particularly insidious. Not only was he preying on much younger women, but he was preying on people who legitimately looked up to him. When Thompson initially went public with her claims in 2014, the comedian’s lawyer, Martin Singer, responded with this dismissive statement: "It's absurd to publish this unsubstantiated story from this anonymous person," according to People. And, last Friday, according to the Daily Mail, Cosby’s lawyers “asked a federal judge to toss out a defamation lawsuit filed by ... Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, and Linda Traitz,” all of whom said that Cosby had drugged and raped or groped them. Though Thompson was clearly traumatized by what happened to her, she told People that she hopes Cosby will confess to what he did — not just to benefit all the women he hurt, but for himself. "My ultimate hope would be for him to 'come clean,' admit his weakness, attempt to rectify where he has harmed so very many (within himself first, of course), and maybe even have a chance for redeeming his own soul/karma as well.” We share her hope, but unfortunately, it seems like the chances of that are pretty slim.

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