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Tarshis didn’t hold back as she revealed how Cosby had first raped her after taping an episode of The Bill Cosby Show. She claims that Cosby drugged her at his bungalow and forced her to have oral sex. Tarshis had previously written that the rapes took place in 1969, when she was 19, in an essay on Hollywood Elsewhere.
Tarshis goes on to explain that she didn’t tell anyone as she “idolized” Cosby at the time, and also because her mother wouldn’t believe her.
When Lemon asked her why she didn’t tell the police, Tarshis explained, “First of all, no one else had come out; I didn’t know his history. I assumed I was not the only girl that he was doing this with, but who’s going to believe me? Bill Cosby, the all-American dad, the all-American husband, Mr Jell-O, the guy everybody loves. Who would believe me? They would probably think I was out to get something.”
Tarshis said she felt a lot of “guilt, a lot of shame” after being raped and was angry at herself and blamed herself. Lemon also asked her about NBC’s upcoming show with Cosby and her hopes that it will be canceled. She ended the interview by calling Cosby a “serial rapist,” adding, “When you rape at least 16 women, that’s serial, that’s a serial rapist, in my opinion.”
Tarshis’ assertions follow a renewed focus on allegations against Cosby after comedian Hannibal Buress called him a rapist on stage during a set. The resultant media uproar quickly led to increased scrutiny of allegations stretching back decades. One of the alleged victims, Barbara Bowman, wrote about her experiences and her anger at no one believing her in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
Cosby himself has yet to publicly respond to the allegations, and his lawyers published a statement on his website addressing the issue. “Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment,” said John P. Schmitt. “Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced.”
“The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true,” Schmitt added. “There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.”
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