Another woman has come forward with accusations that Bill Cosby drugged her. In an essay published Thursday by Vanity Fair, model Beverly Johnson writes that the incident occurred in Cosby’s home as she was being considered for a small part on “The Cosby Show.”
Johnson is best known for being the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974. She has also starred on a reality show on Oprah Winfrey’s network and owns a hair extensions company.
Cosby’s representatives didn’t respond to Vanity Fair’s request for comment, but they previously have denied accusations by other women.
Johnson writes that she was in need of “a big break badly” in the mid-1980s, when her agent told her Cosby wanted her to audition for a small role on the show, playing a pregnant woman.
So she went to a taping, and afterward, met Cosby in his office where she talked about her failed marriage, Johnson writes, adding that she brought her young daughter to a second taping, and then accepted an invitation from Cosby for her and her daughter to go to his New York brownstone to read for the part.
A few days later, Johnson returned a second time, she writes: “After the meal, we walked upstairs to a huge living area of his home that featured a massive bar. A huge brass espresso contraption took up half the counter. At the time, it seemed rare for someone to have such a machine in his home for personal use.”
That’s when Cosby suggested Johnson show him whether she could play a drunk and offered her a cappuccino, Johnson alleges. After initially refusing, she relented and took a few sips, she writes.
“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 writes. “I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged — and drugged good.”
She continues her alleged account:
“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.”
That’s when she cursed him, repeatedly, Johnson writes. “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.”
He then put Johnson in a cab, she alleges. She woke up the next day, confused at what had happened. She tried calling Cosby on a number he had given her, but his wife answered from their bedroom, Johnson alleges. She didn’t call him again.
Johnson writes that she had kept the incident to herself, thinking it had only happened to her “and that I was somehow responsible.”
“But the last four weeks have changed everything, as so many women have shared similar stories, of which the press have belatedly taken heed,” Johnson writes.
On Wednesday, Tamara Green, one of Cosby’s accusers filed a defamation lawsuit against Cosby, claiming that he and his representatives have cast her as a liar. She said at a press conference that it would also be a way for a jury to consider the allegations she and others have made, since the statute of limitations on the alleged crimes have passed.
“I want it put to a jury. . . . I want it ended, finally,” Green said. “I want my name restored. This will give me and other women the chance to go to a forum where we will speak our stories and tell our truth.”
Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer, issued a statement about Green’s lawsuit: “We are very confident that we will prevail in this proceeding and we will pursue claims against the attorneys who filed this action.”
After numerous others stories came out, Singer said in late November that media reports of the accusations were “increasingly ridiculous.”
“Over and over again, we have refuted these new unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork,” Singer said in a statement. “When will it end? It is long past time for this media vilification of Mr. Cosby to stop.”