Bill Cosby Scandal: Beverly Johnson Reveals More About Why She Kept Quiet, Speaking Out Now
In interviews with ABC, NBC and CBS News that aired on the three networks' morning shows, Johnson detailed more of what she claims happened with Cosby when he allegedly drugged her
Supermodel Beverly Johnson spoke to all three of the broadcast network morning shows about her recently revealed claim that Bill Cosby drugged her. In the interviews, conducted in her L.A. home Thursday night and aired Friday morning, Johnson elaborated on what happened with Cosby during her visit to his New York home in the mid-'80s, where she claims he gave her a drugged cappuccino.
He invited her there, she says, to rehearse for an audition for a role on The Cosby Show. The role was for a pregnant woman, Johnson told ABC News, but he wanted her to act drunk, she says, something another Cosby accuser also claims the comedian asked her to do.
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"He kept insisting to have this cappuccino, it's the best coffee you'll ever have, and so I relented and I took the coffee," Johnson explained to CBS News' Ben Tracy. "And I took a sip of the coffee and I immediately felt strange and then I took another sip of the cappuccino and that drug was so powerful it just came on like a moving train, and I knew I had been drugged."
"The drug was very powerful," Johnson told ABC News. "Something I had never, ever taken before, and I mean, I was woozy, my speech was slurred, my…and I kept getting, it kept getting stronger as time went on. It was…I knew that I was in danger, I knew that this was not a recreational drug of any kind, it was…I was really afraid, I was afraid for my life.”
"The room started to spin a little and I was getting very woozy," Johnson told NBC's Tamron Hall by phone of her experience after she'd had a few sips of the cappuccino. "I just started to swear and curse and had a tirade. I wanted him to know that I knew that he had drugged me."
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"I knew he was trying to take advantage of me, but I knew this goes above and beyond making a pass at a woman," Johnson told CBS News. "You don't make a pass at a woman by drugging her."
Johnson says she doesn't think Cosby assaulted her but she says, CBS News reported, that she was nearly unconscious when he dragged her out of his house and shoved her into a taxi. She awoke in her bed the next day with no memory of how she got there, she wrote in the Vanity Fair essay published Thursday, in which she first revealed her allegations against Cosby.
Johnson said she didn't initially speak out about what she claims happened because she thought doing so would hurt her career, she told ABC and NBC News.
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An encounter with Cosby's wife, Camille, also made her feel she should stay silent.
“This one social gathering where Camille was, and she’s so striking and beautiful, and I walked up to her and she embraced me with this hug that was so endearing like you would hug your own daughter, and I decided I wasn’t going to push the issue any further because of her,” Johnson told ABC News.
Johnson is just the latest in a string of women, including her longtime friend and fellow supermodel Janice Dickinson, who have come forward in recent weeks with allegations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. While she says that these other women's stories have inspired her to come forward, she added in her latest round of interviews that she's also speaking out for her daughter and that the issue goes beyond Cosby.
Of her daughter's role in Johnson speaking out, she told NBC News: "I told her what would you tell your daughter, my granddaughter, if she ever came to her and said, 'Hey, mom, I have been drugged.' What would you do? And she said, 'Mom, you are doing the right thing. I support you. I love you.' "
"This is bigger than Bill Cosby. This is about women and violence against women," Johnson told NBC. "This is about women finding their voice. I feel that Cosby took my power that evening and that I took my power back."
Now that Johnson has talked to other women about her experience with Cosby, she said she's learned that the sort of behavior he exhibited with her is a Hollywood secret.
"Now that I speak to other people in the business in Hollywood, it's one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood," she told CBS News. "I most certainly had — I would not have gone to his home if I had known he had that kind of reputation. Absolutely not."
Watch the interviews with Johnson that aired on Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning.