- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Yet another woman has come forward to detail alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Bill Cosby.
“I get so excited when I see what I feel are my sisters coming forward,” Jena T., who did not want to be identified by her full name, tells People magazine. “Every time the story comes up I feel a little bit more alive, like maybe one day this will be common knowledge and I won’t have to be undercover anymore about this part of my life.”
Jena, who is now 44, was one of the women who spoke to lawyers to support Andrea Constand in her civil suit against the comedian, but this is the first time she has spoken publicly about her experience. Constand claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Philadelphia home; her case was settled in 2006.
In 1988 Jena, then an aspiring actress, traveled from Maryland to New York City to meet with a modeling agency. That same day she also met Cosby for the first time. At that initial encounter, People reports that Cosby phoned the teen’s mom and urged her family to support her move to New York, even offering to help her personally.
Two weeks later, Jena and her parents had dinner at Cosby’s home, where he reassured her family about the move and eased the concerns of Jena’s mother that her daughter would be without a support network. However, shortly after Jena made the move to New York she became uncomfortable about Cosby’s intentions and his demands that they spend time together.
In 1989, after Jena had moved back to the Washington, D.C., area, she sent Cosby a poem. “Receive a phone call from the Big Man/Who says he has a plan,” she wrote. “He is a thief, a hypocrite and a whore/Who only wants more.”
Cosby eventually worked his way back into her life. Jena accuses Cosby of gaslighting her and then sending her to Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Alvin Poussaint, who was a consultant on The Cosby Show (Jena also had a walk-on appearance on the sitcom). Poussaint then sent her straight back to Cosby’s house. Through his assistant at Harvard Medical School, where he remains on faculty, Poussaint declined THR‘s request for comment.
“This I’ve pretty much blanked out,” Jena tells People. Cosby “knew on some level that I was probably ready to give in. … He put his leg between my two legs, but I wasn’t excited. But I knew that that was the point — I had to get him excited.
“I’m sure he fixed something to drink. He knew that I was ready to submit. The whole thing was like — I just knew that I gave him a hand job,” she continues. “I’m like a robot, and that is what I became, and that is what I did for him.” Then Cosby gave her $700, she says.
“What I feel complicit in is all of the years, I couldn’t stop him from doing it to another by telling them my story. But then I realized no one would believe me,” she says. But now she senses a sea change in public opinion. “I’ll sometimes just break out in spontaneous cheers of joy.”
Jena joins more than a dozen women who have recently come out publicly to detail accounts of sexual coercion and assault by Cosby. The 77-year-old comic has largely remained silent on the issue, dismissing such claims as “innuendos.”
Cosby attorney Martin Singer has dismissed the allegations, saying “The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.”
At least eight venues have canceled or indefinitely postponed dates on Cosby’s tour. It’s slated to end in May 2015.
Nov. 25, 2014, 4:43 p.m. Updated with Dr. Poussaint declining to comment.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Flight Attendant