Beverly Johnson Claims She Was Drugged By Bill Cosby
Beverly Johnson, the first African American model to cover American Vogue, has come out and accused Bill Cosby of drugging her during a meeting in the mid-80s.
Beverly Johnson: “Bill Cosby Drugged Me”
Vanity Fair published an essay written by Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 11, titled, “Bill Cosby Drugged Me. This Is My Story.” In the essay, Johnson recounts meeting Cosby in the 80s as she was trying to break into Hollywood as an actress. Johnson writes that Cosby approached her with a possibility of a guest spot on The Cosby Show and invited her to his home for an audition. Johnson alleges that, once upstairs in his New York brownstone, Cosby offered her a cappuccino.
I told him I didn’t drink coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn’t let it go. He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model on the market and promised I’d never tasted a cappuccino quite like this one.
It’s nuts, I know, but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sips of the coffee just to appease him.
Johnson claims that, after a few sips from her coffee cup, she knew Cosby had slipped something in her drink thanks her previous experiences with drugs. “I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs flowed at parties and photo shoots like bottled water at a health spa. I’d had my fun and experimented with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged – and drugged good,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson claims that she had the presence of mind to confront Cosby, and, in an effort to let him know that she knew she had been drugged, called him “a motherf—ker.” According to Johnson, her attitude enraged Cosby, who then dragged her down the stairs and put her in a cab.
“What happened next is somewhat cloudy for me because the drug was in fuller play by that time. I recall his seething anger at my tirade and then him grabbing me by my left arm hard and yanking all 110 pounds of me down a bunch of stairs as my high heels clicked and clacked on every step. I feared my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs.
She woke up the next morning in her bed with no memory of how she got there.
In the essay, Johnson details her later attempts to contact Cosby in order to confront him, but after a call to what she believed to be Cosby’s personal number was answered by his wife Camille, she never called back. “In the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson also wrote about her reasons to come forward with her story. She felt compelled to join the 20 or so women who have already publicly accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault after seeing them attacked in the press. “I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true,” Johnson wrote.
It’s not easy doing the right thing sometimes!!! Thank you for your love & support Break the Silence of Sexual Abuse!
— Beverly Johnson (@BeverlyJohnson1) December 11, 2014
I spoke on and support women who have been abuse and then vilified for speaking out..The irony ! — Beverly Johnson (@BeverlyJohnson1) December 11, 2014
In an interview with HuffPost Live, Johnson elaborated on her alleged assault, saying that when Cosby was dragging her down the stairs, “I knew my life was in danger.” She also explained why she didn’t go to the police at the time of the incident, saying, “The fact that, if I confronted him, if I went to the police, if I told someone what had happened to me, what this man would have done to me?”
In her essay, Johnson also spoke about her fear that bringing up more allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby would contribute to the rising racial tensions in light of the recent Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury investigations. Johnson even admits that it was this fear that kept her from going public with her story when the recent wave of allegations against Cosby began.
“I questioned myself as to, ‘what am I afraid of?’ And I realized that my biggest fear was the opinion of people. And once I realized that, that it was the opinion of people that I was afraid of about speaking out at this particular time, I was fearless. So, Bill Cosby and what’s happening with black men in America – these are two different situations,” Johnson told HuffPost Live.
Johnson was not wrong in her fears, as the former model has received some backlash for coming forward with the allegations. African-American music mogul Pete Rock appeared to respond to Johnson’s essay with an Instagram post explaining his belief that the allegations against Cosby are part of a conspiracy to discredit a powerful black figure.
“This was not easy for me to do, particularly with the racial climate today and what is happening with black men, but this was bigger than Bill Cosby – this was about sexual violence against women, and I think by telling my story it allowed me to shine a light and reveal that the same of being sexually abused is often kept in the dark,” Johnson told People.
Janice Dickinson Supports Beverly Johnson
Johnson has received support from fellow model, and friend, Janice Dickinson, who also recently publicly accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. “Beverly Johnson is an icon, she’s a legend, she’s a stand up woman, and I’m so proud of her. She’s the first African American woman on the cover of Vogue, and she doesn’t lie either. I’m lucky to call her my friend. I’m just really grateful that more and more women are doing the right thing,” Dickinson told TMZ.
Thank you all for your loving support.. Let’s make this a platform for other people who have been abused to step forward and be heard..
— Beverly Johnson (@BeverlyJohnson1) December 12, 2014