In an essay for Vanity Fair, model and actor Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in the mid-'80s at his New York home.
Johnson, famous for being the first black woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue in 1974, is the latest of several women who have come forward with similar stories.
Johnson, now 62, said she was asked to audition for a small role of a pregnant woman on The Cosby Show in the mid-'80s.
She wrote that she first met Cosby during a taping of the show where she spoke to him about her troubled marriage and ugly custody battle for her child.
Johnson said Cosby "appeared concerned and then asked what I wanted from my career going forward. He seemed genuinely interested in guiding me to the next level. I was on cloud nine."
Johnson said that Cosby invited her and her daughter to his New York house, which she said, in retrospect, "seems like part of a perfectly laid out plan, a way to make me feel secure with him at all times."
The next time she went to Cosby's house without her daughter, she alleged that after dinner, the actor asked her to pretend to be drunk.
Johnson wrote: "When did a pregnant woman ever appear drunk on The Cosby Show? Probably never, but I went with it."
Cosby then offered her a cappuccino, Johnson said, which she refused because she didn't drink coffee late in the afternoon. However, Cosby insisted and Johnson said she took a few sips of the coffee to appease him because "it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby."
Johnson said she had experimented with drugs at parties and she "knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I'd been drugged—and drugged good."
From Vanity Fair:
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.
Johnson said she called Cosby "motherfucker" several times, which angered him. She alleged that the actor grabbed her, yanked her forcefully down the stairs and out of his home, and put her in a taxi which he waved down.
Johnson said the effects of the drug lasted for a few days. When she decided to confront Cosby about it, she called his private number, which was answered by his wife, Camille. Johnson did not tell her or anyone else what happened, she wrote, for fear that it would be a losing battle against a powerful man.
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.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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