Beverly Johnson is now the most high-profile person to go after Bill Cosby in the series of over twenty accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior that have been thrown at the comedian, setting his career and public image on a downward spiral.
Johnson, who is the first black model to have appeared on American Vogue, came forward in an article in Vanity Fair and described in detail the terrifying afternoon that she spent with Cosby at his home in the 1980s during an audition process for The Cosby Show.
While 77-year-old Cosby has been accused of more egregious crimes, Johnson’s description is perhaps the most graphic yet:
“Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested that I pretend to be drunk…”
“As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine… He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model on the market and promised I’d never tasted a cappuccino quite like this one. It’s nuts, I know, but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sips of the coffee just to appease him.”
“Now let me explain this: I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs flowed at parties and photo shoots like bottled water at a health spa. I’d had my fun and experimented with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged – and drugged good.”
“My head became woozy, my speech became slurred, and the room began to spin nonstop. Cosby motioned for me to come over to him as though we were really about to act out the scene. He put his hands around my waist, and I managed to put my hand on his shoulder in order to steady myself.”
After Johnson realized that she’d been drugged by Cosby, she became furious with the actor and tried to protect herself from further assault. Johnson writes, “As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic-survival mode. That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment. (I said), ‘You are a motherf**ker aren’t you?'”
“That’s the exact question I yelled at him as he stood there holding me, expecting me to bend to his will. I rapidly called him several more ‘motherf**kers’. By the fifth, I could tell that I was really p**sing him off. At one point he dropped his hands from my waist and just stood there looking at me like I’d lost my mind.”
“I recall his seething anger at my tirade and then him grabbing me by my left arm hard and yanking all 110 pounds of me down a bunch of stairs as my high heels clicked and clacked on every step. I feared my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs.”
“It was still late afternoon and the sun hadn’t completely gone down yet. When we reached the front door, he pulled me outside of the brownstone and then, with his hand still tightly clenched around my arm, stood in the middle of the street waving down taxis.”
“When one stopped, Cosby opened the door, shoved me into it and slammed the door behind me without ever saying a word.”
Memory is fickle, but Johnson’s recounting of the event is scarily vivid.
Johnson describes that she tried to call Cosby to confront him about the experience, but his wife answered the phone and politely informed her that it was late (she had accidentally called from the West Coast, and it was three hours later into the evening in NYC.)
“I didn’t call back the next day or any other day after that,” she admits. Johnson didn’t want to gamble with her career by accusing Cosby and dropped the issue until now.
As she is now the highest profile accuser of Cosby, we’ll see if her confession prompts any more outings.
Johnson’s story is terrifyingly vivid. Click forward to read it in her words…