NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Famed publisher Judith Regan testified Wednesday that former supermodel Janice Dickinson was furious about being blocked from including an allegation that she had been drugged and raped by Bill Cosby in her memoir.
Regan, speaking in a husky voice from the witness stand, said that she was advised by lawyers for her company, Regan Books, that Dickinson could not include the allegation in the book without “corroboration.”
During her short, highly anticipated appearance, Regan opened a window onto the backstages of the celebrity book-publishing business.
“People are entitled to interpret the events of their lives as they see fit,” said Regan, best known for publishing the controversial book by O.J. Simpson, “If I Did It.”
Regan, who has signed an affidavit saying Dickinson told her about the rape allegations, testified that she believed Dickinson’s account of being raped by Cosby because of the famously emotional model’s demeanor.
“Whenever she discussed the subject she was upset, she was angry,” Regan said. “She continued to be angry that we would not include it in the book.”
Regan is expected to be the last high-profile witness for prosecutors, who also introduced deposition testimony Wednesday in which Cosby, now 80, admits acquiring the sedative quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex in the 1970s. Prosecutors said Wednesday that they are done with their case, except for expert witnesses who will be called Thursday. The defense announced plans to call its first witness Wednesday afternoon.
Testimony about the book, “No Lifeguard On Duty,” dominated the cross-examination of Dickinson last week. Dickinson testified that she agreed to the publication of a watered-down version of events because she was broke and needed to make money from book sales to support her children. In the 2002 book, Dickinson — working with a ghostwriter — said that she went to Cosby’s room at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 1982 but did not go inside, instead leaving in search of drugs.
On the witness stand, however, Dickinson testified that the real story was far different: she said Cosby gave her a pill that he said would help with her menstrual cramps, then raped her while she was incapacitated by the effects of whatever he gave her.
A comment that Dickinson made during her testimony may come back to haunt her. On the witness stand, she said that she was shocked during the alleged rape to find “America’s Dad on top of me.”
While cross-examining Regan on Wednesday, Cosby’s attorney Thomas Mesereau pointed out that “The Cosby Show,” in which the actor portrayed a lovable physician and father named Dr. Cliff Huxtable, didn’t begin airing until 1984.
Pressed by Mesereau, Regan refused to acknowledge that she had knowingly published a false account. Over and over, she said the details of Dickinson’s book were worked out between the model and her ghostwriter.
After she was dismissed, Regan paused for a fraction of a second as she was leaving the courtroom. She cast a sidelong grace toward the side of the room where Cosby sat with his slender wooden cane, then kept moving.