Model Janice Dickinson has accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1982 in an exclusive interview with “Entertainment Tonight.” She is the fifth woman to publicly accuse the comedian and actor of sexual abuse.
“Stuffing feelings of rape and my unresolved issues from this incident has drove me into a life of trying to hurt myself,” Dickinson said in an interview with co-host Kevin Frazier. Dickinson, a former judge on “America’s Next Top Model,” has publicly battled substance abuse for decades.
Earlier Tuesday, Tracie Egan Morissey of Vice wrote a piece about Dickinson’s encounter with Cosby in Lake Tahoe, Calif., in 1982, citing passages from Dickinson’s 2002 memoir, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel.” In it, Dickinson described meeting Cosby in New York for the first time after he found her through her modeling agency.
Dickinson wrote Cosby positioned himself as a mentor. He eventually set her up with a musical director he knew to ascertain if she could sing. Dickinson worked with the director until she was to debut her first pop single at Studio 54, but bombed the performance. She was intoxicated, forgot the words and, soon after, entered rehab.
When she emerged, Cosby wanted her to fly to Lake Tahoe. He said he wanted her to open a show for him. Dickinson said she flew there at Cosby’s behest, and Cosby asked her to meet him at his hotel, where they had dinner.
After dinner he asked me back to his room, and I went. But I stopped myself at the door. “I’m exhausted,” I said, begging off. His eyebrows went a little funny.
“Exhausted?” he asked, and it was clear he was trying hard to keep his temper in check. “After all I’ve done for you, that’s what I get? I’m exhausted.”
“Well, gee, Bill,” I stammered. “If I had known it was going to be like this—”
He waved both hands in front of my face, silencing me. Then he gave me the dirtiest, meanest look in the world, stepped into his suite, and slammed the door in my face.
Dickinson, 59, told “Entertainment Tonight” she tried to tell the full story of the assault in her book in 2002, but Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and her publisher at HarperCollins to obscure the details.
“After dinner, in my room, he had given me wine and a pill and the next morning I woke up and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas,” Dickinson said. “I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man. The last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me.”
In her memoir, Dickinson also wrote of the physical and sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. She said of the incident with Cosby: “This is one of the biggest regrets and resentments throughout the course of my life. I’ve compartmentalized the memory.”
Cosby has not responded to Dickinson’s accusations specifically. She is the fifth woman to step forward to publicly allege Cosby sexually assaulted her, following Joan Tarshis, Barbara Bowman, Andrea Constand and Tamara Green. In a recent NPR interview with Scott Simon, Cosby remained silent when Simon asked him if he wished to address the allegations. He has canceled two scheduled television appearances, one with “The Queen Latifah Show” and the other with David Letterman, and was publicly pilloried on Twitter when he asked social media users to create memes using his old photographs. NBC has said that it still plans to develop a prime time show centered around Cosby that’s scheduled for a summer or fall 2015 premiere.
On Tuesday, Netflix announced it would be “postponing the launch of the new stand up comedy special ‘Bill Cosby 77.'” The special was scheduled to be made available on Thanksgiving.
Despite the renewed attention given to the rape allegations against Cosby, Dickinson demurred when asked if she told anyone what happened to her in 1982 at the time. “I can’t remember that,” she told Frazier, before adding, “I don’t want to implicate anyone because Bill Cosby is a very powerful man.”
In 2006, Cosby settled a civil suit with Constand in which 13 women signed on as witnesses alleging they, too, had been assaulted by Cosby, and would testify if the case went to trial.
Cosby issued a statement about the sexual assault allegations leveled against him Sunday on his Web site. His attorney, John P. Schmitt wrote: “The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”
Cosby replaced that statement with a joint statement from Schmitt and Constand’s attorney that appeared to reflect the terms of their settlement: “The statement released by Mr. Cosby’s attorney over the weekend was not intended to refer in any way to Andrea Constand. As previously reported, differences between Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand years ago. Neither Mr. Cosby nor Ms. Constand intends to comment further on the matter.”