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The women have spoken.
In A&E’s hourlong Cosby: The Women Speak special on Thursday, more than a dozen Bill Cosby accusers gave intimate interviews sharing their accounts of how they met the entertainer and how and when he sexually assaulted them.
Each woman (some preferring to remain anonymous) sat down in an interviewee’s chair and told her side of the story in detail, including giving their age when they met Cosby and what he told them to get them alone in a room.
Among interviewees was actress Beverly Johnson, who recounted her story and said that her daughter prompted her to come forward. She said that she was invited to Cosby’s brownstone to read a scene from The Cosby Show, fpr which she was auditioning. He offered her a cappuccino and after one sip, she was dizzy and knew she had been drugged.
“You are a motherf—er aren’t you?” she said to Cosby. After questioning him, he then escorted her out of the house and threw her in a taxi.
Joan Tarshis, who was an aspiring comedy writer and first met Cosby in 1969, shared a similar story with numerous other women who came forward about how the comedian sexually assaulted her. Cosby gave her a drink, she almost immediately felt dizzy and he forced her into a sexual act. Tarshis said that she was spat on two weeks ago by a woman who called her a liar. “Why would I lie?” she said tearfully. “That’s not how I want my legacy to be.”
“It was my calling to come forward and not stay a Jane Doe,” said Barbara Bowman, who initially told her story to the Washington Post, in the video interview.
Beth Farrior, who met Cosby at the age of 24, was a fashion model who previously had a two-year consensual relationship with Cosby. She decided to go to a show of his in Denver, where he drugged her and she said after having a sip of a drink felt “like I was going to go under.” Farrior remembered waking up in the back of her car in a back alley with her clothes off.
Former Playboy model Sarita Butterfield said she received a call from Cosby at the age of 22 when he saw a photo of her in the magazine. He asked her to join him and his family for a Christmas Eve dinner in Massachusetts. While in the guest house, Cosby forcibly groped her all over her body: “his intentions were to prey on me,” she said, adding “I’ve never gotten over it.” When she returned to the mansion and the Playboy bunnies asked her how the trip was, she didn’t know how to reply and said, “It was wonderful.”
Joseph Phillips, who appeared on The Cosby Show as Lt. Martin Kendall from 1985-1991, said he initially didn’t believe the women who came forward and that it wasn’t until a female friend confided in him (who hasn’t come forward) that Cosby assaulted her. Though he says “I didn’t witness anything” during filming, he remarked “there was always a sense of something” in reference to a parade of women visiting the show.
The Women Speak was produced for A&E by Lincoln Square Productions, with Lincoln’s Jeanmarie Condon and Melia Patria serving as executive producers alongside the network’s Shelly Tatro and Brad Abramson. Condon and Patria also served as co-directors. This special is the first of four from Lincoln Square airing on A&E.
Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Jim Hill Senior served as executive producer.
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