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Beverly Johnson may have made headlines just a few months ago when she alleged that, decades ago, she was drugged by Bill Cosby, becoming one of the more than 40 women to accuse the comedian of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
But making her way through a crowd of photographers and reporters at a party Wednesday night to celebrate her memoir, The Face That Changed It All, in which she recounts the Cosby incident, Johnson seemed to have moved on from her ordeal.
Earlier that day, the trailblazing supermodel told Good Morning America that she “forgive[s]” Cosby. When asked how she reached that point, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday night that’s just how she was raised.
“I’m never angry. I don’t carry anger and bitterness,” Johnson said. “It’s a part of who I am and how I was taught and so forgiving is a part of that process.”
Further, Johnson did not seem bothered by the fact that Cosby has yet to acknowledge the accusations.
When asked what it would take for Cosby to admit he did what they say he did, Johnson told THR, “I don’t know and — not that I don’t care — I leave that to his higher power and our higher power [and law enforcement].… I have no say.”
Someone who might have a say in what Cosby says under oath about his interactions with the women who claim he drugged and raped them is lawyer Gloria Allred, who was also on hand for Johnson’s book party at the Museum of the City of New York.
Allred represents multiple Cosby accusers, including Judy Huth, who is suing for sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress over an alleged incident at the Playboy Mansion in 1974. A deposition is set to take place in Huth’s case Oct. 9.
Allred, however, remained cautious about what could happen at the deposition, noting that Cosby’s attorneys are planning to seek a protective order, with a judge set to hear arguments on that Oct. 5. And if the deposition occurs, what Cosby will say and what his attorneys will let him say is unknown.
“The real question would be, if we do ask questions of other accusers, whether his attorneys will object and whether he will answer questions about the accusations of others. And that remains to be seen and decided,” Allred told THR. “I do not believe that that’s a question that will be resolved prior to his deposition. I think we’re going to have to wait and see what the questions are and how he answers them or if he answers them or if he’s permitted to answer them. We don’t know the answers to those questions yet.”
Regardless, Allred said Johnson speaking out about her experience with Cosby drew attention to the scandal and may have inspired other women, especially African-American women, to come forward.
“I think it served to empower and inspire many African-American women,” Allred said. “They were a little worried about speaking out against maybe the most successful African-American man in television ever. And in a way, [Johnson’s story] helped them to feel that they had permission to have their voice and speak out in the same way that Beverly had the courage to do it. I have had some [women] who contacted me not long after Beverly spoke out.”
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