Beverly Johnson In Vanity Fair: “Bill Cosby Drugged Me”
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.
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.
“You are a motherfucker 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.
Beverly Johnson, one of the first Black supermodels, has written a damning essay for Vanity Fair detailing, for the very first time, that Bill Cosby drugged her — and likely would have raped her if she hadn’t pissed him off so much that he threw her out of his house instead. Johnson says that she met Cosby in the mid-’80s when he invited her to audition for “The Cosby Show.” As we now know is typical of the serial rapist, Cosby invited Johnson to his home to read for a part and then offered her a drink — in this case, espresso — which she at first declined. He insisted and she eventually complied because, she writes, “it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby.” Almost immediately, as she writes in the excerpt above, she knew she had been drugged, that’s how powerful it was. That’s when she made the decision to call him out, calling him a motherfucker over and over again. Cosby became angry — because, you know, how dare she be angry that he drugged her with the intention of raping her — and grabbed Johnson by her arm and dragged her down the stairs, literally throwing her out of his house and slamming the door behind him.
A few days later, after the drugs wore off, Johnson says she called Cosby at the number he had given her, intending on confronting him for what he had done, hoping he would come clean. It turned out that the number was to Cosby’s bedroom and his wife Camille answered. Johnson and Cosby never ended up speaking and she kept what had occurred to herself. “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,” Johnson writes in Vanity Fair. “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.” Until now.
Johnson writes that she hesitated to come forward, even as more and more women told their stories of being victimized by Cosby. She writes:
As I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of the day Bill Cosby drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what, the faces of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other brown and black men took residence in my mind.
As if I needed to be reminded. The current plight of the black male was behind my silence when Barbara Bowman came out to tell the horrific details of being drugged and raped by Cosby to the Washington Post in November. And I watched in horror as my longtime friend and fellow model Janice Dickinson was raked over the coals for telling her account of rape at Cosby’s hands. Over the years I’ve met other women who also claim to have been violated by Cosby. Many are still afraid to speak up. I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true. …
Finally, I reached the conclusion that the current attack on African American men has absolutely nothing to do at all with Bill Cosby. He brought this on himself when he decided he had the right to have his way with who knows how many women over the last four decades.
Bless her for being brave enough to come forward to tell her story and to stand in solidarity with Cosby’s other victims. Read Johnson’s full story at the link. [Vanity Fair]