Supermodel Beverly Johnson Alleges “Motherf*cker” Bill Cosby Drugged Her

Truth rating: 10
Beverly Johnson Bill Cosby Drugged Me

By Michael Lewittes

Beverly Johnson Bill Cosby Drugged Me

(Getty Images)

Supermodel Beverly Johnson alleges Bill Cosby drugged her when she auditioned for a small part on “The Cosby Show” in the mid-1980s. Johnson claims in a Vanity Fair essay published on Thursday that the comedian invited her to his home to read for the part and then tried to attack her. She explains that she didn’t initially come forward because she felt, “Black men have enough enemies out there already, they certainly don’t need someone like you, an African American with a familiar face and a famous name, fanning the flames.”

According to Johnson, she desperately needed a “big break,” at the time, because she was fighting for custody of her only child. The model recalls being invited to the set of Cosby’s hit show. She writes, “After the taping I met all the cast and then met with Cosby in his office to talk a bit about the hell I’d been through in my marriage.” Johnson says, “He appeared concerned and then asked what I wanted from my career going forward. He seemed genuinely interested in guiding me to the next level. I was on cloud nine.” She adds, “Looking back, that first invite from Cosby to his home seems like part of a perfectly laid out plan, a way to make me feel secure with him at all times. It worked like a charm. Cosby suggested I come back to his house a few days later to read for the part.”

Johnson relates that she had dinner with Cosby before they went upstairs to a “huge living area of his home that featured a massive bar.” She recalls that he had a huge espresso machine, which back then “seemed rare,” but it was to prominently play a part in the events that later unfolded. Johnson writes, “Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested that I pretend to be drunk. (When did a pregnant woman ever appear drunk on ‘The Cosby Show’? Probably never, but I went with it.) She continues,”As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine. I told him I didn’t drink coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn’t let it go. 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.”

Johnson explains, “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.” She states, “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.”

Johnson claims her “head became woozy,” her “speech became slurred, and the room began to spin nonstop” when Cosby motioned for her to “come over to him” as if they were about to act out the scene. With Cosby’s hands around her waist, Johnson says her brain went into ” automatic-survival mode” as she felt her “body go completely limp.” She notes, “That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment. ‘You are a motherf*cker 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*ckers.’ By the fifth, I could tell that I was really pissing 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.”

The model says, “What happened next is somewhat cloudy for me because the drug was in fuller play by that time. 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.” Johnson remembers, “I feared my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs.” She alleges that Cosby took her outside, hailed a taxi, and shoved her into it without saying a word. “I somehow managed to tell the driver my address before blacking out,” she says. “I looked at the cabbie and asked, as if he knew: Did I really just call Bill Cosby ‘a motherf*cker’?”

Johnson writes that she was “stunned” about what had happened and decided to confront Cosby for her own “sanity’s sake.” She says she called his home and that his wife answered the phone, told her it was late, and advised her to call back the following day. “I didn’t call back the next day or any other day after that,” says Johnson. “At a certain moment it became clear that I would be fighting a losing battle with a powerful man so callous he not only drugged me, but he also gave me the number to the bedroom he shared with his wife. How could I fight someone that boldly arrogant and out of touch?” She adds, “In the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby. I had a career that would no doubt take a huge hit if I went public with my story and I certainly couldn’t afford that after my costly divorce and on going court fees.”

Johnson says she now feels compelled to tell her story after she watched her close friend Janice Dickinson come forward with her own claims about Cosby drugging and raping her. “Many are still afraid to speak up,” she writes. “I couldn’t sit back and watch the other women be vilified and shamed for something I knew was true.”

Nearly 20 women have come forward and publicly accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them. The comedian’s lawyers did not respond to Vanity Fair’s requests for comment. What do you think of Johnson’s essay?

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