Tags: beverly johnson | vanity fair | expose | bill cosby

Beverly Johnson's Vanity Fair Expose a Final Nail for Cosby?

Image: Beverly Johnson's Vanity Fair Expose a Final Nail for Cosby?
(Bennett Raglin/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 01:23 PM

Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue, said in a Thursday article she wrote for Vanity Fair that Bill Cosby drugged her at his New York home in 1986.

Johnson's recounting of the story is strikingly similar to the allegations made by other women in recent weeks, however she said that she was not sexually assaulted by Cosby.

Also of note is Johnson's consideration for Bill Cosby's reputation as a fellow African-American – one universally regarded as a role model.

"[A]s I thought of going public with what follows, a voice in my head kept whispering, 'Black men have enough enemies out there already, they certainly don’t need someone like you, an African American with a familiar face and a famous name, fanning the flames,'" she wrote.

She eventually concluded, however, that by speaking out she would help other assault victims feel comfortable in reporting their own stories.

In beginning of her story, she explains that she was elated to get a call offering her the chance at a bit role on "The Cosby Show."

"Cosby played an obstetrician, and he sometimes used models to portray pregnant women sitting in his office waiting room. It was a small part with one or two speaking lines at most, but I wanted in," she explained.

After being invited to a regular taping of the show, Johnson said she and her daughter were invited to Cosby's house by the man himself. Their visit included a beautiful brunch, a tour of the home, and concluded with Cosby inviting Johnson back for a script rehearsal.

During the subsequent visit, Cosby insisted Johnson drink a cappuccino from his impressive at-home espresso machine. She soon "became woozy" and she felt her body "go completely limp."

"[M]y 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 motherf***er 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," she wrote.

"I rapidly called him several more 'motherf***ers.' 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."

She said Cosby then yanked her down the stairs, out the front door, and dumped her in a taxi cab.

"The next day I woke up in my own bed after falling into a deep sleep that lasted most of the day," Johnson recalled.

A few days later, she decided to confront him.

"I dialed the private number he’d given me expecting to hear his voice on the other end. But he didn’t answer. His wife did. A little shocked, I quickly identified myself to her in the most respectful way possible and then asked to speak to Bill. Camille politely informed me that it was very late, 11:00 P.M. and that they were both in bed together," she wrote.

"I didn’t call back the next day or any other day after that. At a certain moment 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. How could I fight someone that boldly arrogant and out of touch? In the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby."


 


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Beverly Johnson, the first black woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue, said in a Thursday article for Vanity Fair that Bill Cosby drugged her at his New York home in 1986.
beverly johnson, vanity fair, expose, bill cosby
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2014-23-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 01:23 PM
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