lf1

My Bill Cosby experience: Did I dodge a bullet?

Bill CosbyA Lovefraud reader asked me to write about the Bill Cosby scandal. A total of 27 women have publicly come forward to tell their stories of being sexually assaulted by the famous comedian.

A complete list of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, on Slate.com.

As I read the accounts, I kept seeing virtually the same story, over and over.

Many of the women were young models and actresses who claim Cosby made a pretense of offering them career advice. One woman, however, was a 19-year-old waitress who said Cosby offered her a ride home and then assaulted her. Another woman was 19 when Cosby approached her in a gift shop at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he was performing, and invited her backstage. She says she was drugged, and woke up to find him having sex with her in the green room bathroom.

At this point the shocking realization hit me: This could have happened to me.

Atlantic City Magazine

Donna Andersen attended a business association Christmas party while editor of Atlantic City Magazine. Left is her brother, Doug Andersen.

Donna Andersen attended a business association Christmas party while editor of Atlantic City Magazine. Left is her brother, Doug Andersen.

From 1978 through 1982 I was editor of Atlantic City Magazine. It was my first job out of college.

The job sounds more prestigious than it was. Casino gambling had just become legal in New Jersey, and Atlantic City’s first casino opened a few weeks after I graduated from college. Atlantic City Magazine was a startup publication. I was not only the first editor; I was the first employee.

I had majored in magazine journalism in college, and founded a campus magazine. But I think the prime reason I got the job in Atlantic City was because I was in the right place at the right time.

Arranging the Cosby interview

Atlantic City Magazine frequently published interviews with the headline entertainers who performed at the casinos. Sometime around 1980, when I was 24 years old, Bill Cosby, who regularly appeared in Atlantic City, agreed to be interviewed.

I needed to finalize the time and place where our writer would meet the comedian. But Cosby wasn’t available — he was playing tennis with a casino executive. So in this era before cell phones, I drove over to the indoor tennis courts.

After making the arrangements with a casino PR person, I, along with a few others, watched Cosby play tennis.

As the game was coming to an end, Cosby announced that he wanted to go to the White House Sub Shop, which was famous for its subs. But he didn’t have a car. So as the casino folks were trying to figure out how to get him to the sub shop, Cosby pointed at me and said, “She’ll take me.”

Driving Bill Cosby

I was astounded. Everybody looked at me, and I said I could take him.

So, when Cosby finished playing tennis, we got into my car. The car was something plain and white that Atlantic City Magazine rented for me — certainly not what I assume the TV star was accustomed to driving in.

I was star struck. During the 15 minutes that it took to drive from the tennis courts to the sub shop, I tried to engage Cosby in conversation. He didn’t say much. But he did spit out the window.

When we arrived at the sub shop, I stopped the car, let him out and drove away.

It never occurred to me to go in with him, be a groupie, order subs, or make sure he got back to the casino. That’s how naïve I was.

Dodged a bullet

Later, realizing that I’d let an opportunity to make an important connection slip through my fingers, I berated myself for my stupidity.

But now, after reading the accounts of all the young women who claim that Cosby assaulted them, I can’t help but wonder if the same thing could have happened to me.

Maybe Cosby assumed that I’d go into the White House with him, and drive him back to the casino. Then, perhaps he would have invited me backstage. I know I would not have questioned his intentions. I didn’t understand then that rich, famous, powerful men took advantage of young women.

Had Bill Cosby done the same thing to me that he allegedly did to all those other young women, I know one thing. I would have been severely traumatized.

So perhaps I was lucky that I drove away.

More info:

Everything you need to know about the Bill Cosby scandal, on Time.com

Bill Cosby’s legacy, recast: Accusers speak in detail about sexual assault allegations, on WashingtonPost.com.

 

 

 

 



360 Comments on "My Bill Cosby experience: Did I dodge a bullet?"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. knownow says:

    “10 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM ‘COSBY: THE WOMEN SPEAK’ SPECIAL” reports the Rollingstone.com:

    ”It’s been two months since New York Magazine published its feature story on 35 of Bill Cosby’s accusers, complete with striking cover image of the women seated side-by-side, next to an empty chair for those who chose not to come forward publicly. (To date, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault.)
    Thursday night, A&E aired Cosby: The Women Speak, a one-hour documentary featuring 13 of those women, seated and stoic, telling their stories – which are all the more chilling onscreen.
    Here are 10 things we learned from watching the special.

    1. COSBY IS SAID TO HAVE HAD A PARTICULAR PLOY FOR TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOUNG WOMEN TRYING TO BREAK INTO SHOW BUSINESS.
    Several women who were at the time models hoping to become actors said on the show that Cosby invited them to privately audition for him. For instance, Heidi Thomas and Lise-Lott Lubin said Cosby asked them to act as though they were intoxicated, then expressed disapproval with their performance before offering them a drink to help them “get into character.” The women said that after the drinks, their memories became fuzzy.

    2. COSBY UNDERMINED THE PROMISING CAREERS OF WOMEN COMEDIANS.
    In 1969, comedy was an even more challenging field for women to break into than it is today. So it was notable when comedic actress Louisa Moritz was booked to appear on The Tonight Show. But a pre-show encounter with Cosby, who was an unscheduled guest the same night, would ruin Moritz’s recollection of the experience forever: Cosby allegedly burst into her dressing room and forced her to perform oral sex, while offering to be her manager. When it was over, she went onstage. “I must say it was the hardest job I’ve ever done,” she said.

    Joan Tarshis, who was an aspiring comedy writer around the same time, also said Cosby took advantage of her ambition, offering to help her break into the field, but ultimately drugging and assaulting her instead.

    3. WITH YOUNGER WOMEN, COSBY ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED AND REASSURED THEIR PARENTAL FIGURES.
    Heidi Thomas, who was 24 when she met Cosby, said he called her parents after inviting her to Reno, Nevada, for “mentoring.”
    “I thought it was nice that he called,” said Thomas’ mother, Greta Lea Johnson. “He seemed to be intent on making sure we weren’t worried about this trip. I wondered why he was making such a point of saying, ‘Everything’s going to be fine.'”

    Chelan Lasha was 17 when she met Cosby in the Eighties. He invited her to his hotel, after her aunt showed him her photo. She told A&E that he offered to introduce her to someone at the Ford modeling agency.

    In both cases, when Cosby got the young women alone, he allegedly drugged and raped them.

    4. COSBY ALLEGEDLY COMMITTED ASSAULTS WITH HIS FAMILY CLOSE BY.
    Sarita Butterfield, who was working as a Playboy bunny in the Eighties, told A&E that Cosby called her, saying he’d seen her picture in Playboy and heard she was an aspiring actress. She said he then invited her to Christmas Eve dinner with his family in Massachusetts, after which he attempted to assault her in the family’s guesthouse. “His intentions were to prey on me and to assault me in his home on Christmas Eve,” she said. “That’s unbelievable.”

    5. TIME HAS DONE LITTLE TO MITIGATE THE WOMEN’S ANGUISH.
    Tears flowed easily for many of Cosby’s accusers, especially those who only recently came forward publicly, like Lublin, Lasha and Butterfield.

    Victoria Valentino, a model who met Cosby in 1969 after losing her 6-year-old son in a drowning accident (Cosby’s own son, Ennis, was born that year), said Cosby offered her a pill to “help with the grief,” then assaulted her while she was drugged. “If there’s any question about why women don’t report rape, it’s because it’s so damned humiliating,” she said. “You don’t ever want to talk about it again.”

    6. IT SEEMS COSBY HAD A LARGE NETWORK OF ENABLERS.
    “Elizabeth,” a flight attendant who met Cosby on an airplane, said during the special that he invited her to dinner at a Japanese restaurant and encouraged her to try his sake. She tried the drink, and reports not remembering how she wound up in Cosby’s hotel room. She said he assaulted her, and she later vomited in the Rolls Royce that was taking her home. When she apologized to the driver, he reportedly told her, “You aren’t the first.”

    Eden Tirl, an actress who appeared on The Cosby Show in 1989, said Cosby called her to his dressing room, locked the door and attempted to assault her. “I cannot imagine there aren’t people that were working in and around that set that knew that something was going on,” she said.

    Actor Joseph C. Phillips, the only man interviewed for the special, had this to say about working on The Cosby Show set: “I didn’t witness anything, but there was always a sense of something, and there were people whispering. This parade that would come through of beautiful women…. Something was going on. Everybody’s not auditioning.”

    7. HE ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED AT LEAST ONE WOMAN HE HAD A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH.
    Beth Ferrier had a two-year consensual affair with Cosby before, she says, he drugged and assaulted her; she said that after the alleged assault, she woke up alone in the back of her car, parked in an alley. Because her memory of the experience was so clouded, she visited Cosby to ask questions, but she said it was clear she wouldn’t get answers.

    8. THE WOMEN DON’T CONSIDER HANNIBAL BURESS A HERO.
    The story of Cosby’s alleged sexual assaults took off in the media after comedian Hannibal Buress discussed them in a stand-up routine in October 2014. But the women interviewed for A&E don’t think of him as a savior. “This guy is a man. A man is making a joke about it in his stand-up routine, and suddenly everybody believes him?” Valentino said.

    Tirl agreed, saying, “There were many, many, many women that had come forward long before this comedian had said anything, so I think that’s bullshit” to suggest he’s their white knight.

    9. LISE-LOTTE LUBLIN SUCCESSFULLY LOBBIED TO AMEND NEVADA’S STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES.
    This May, in apparent response to the emerging Cosby allegations, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill extending from four years to 20 years Nevada’s statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of sexual assault. Five women, including Lublin, have alleged that Cosby assaulted them in the state. The new statute goes into effect October 1.

    10. DESPITE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN WHO’VE COME FORWARD, THEIR CREDIBILITY IS STILL BEING CALLED INTO QUESTION.
    Tarshis said that just two weeks before the A&E taping, she was confronted on the street. “A woman drove by and spit at me and called me a liar, which really shook me up,” she said, tearfully. “Nobody likes to be called a liar [or] spit at, especially when you’re not lying. Why would I lie? That’s not what I want my legacy to be.” All the women in the special said the courage of other victims coming forward emboldened them to tell their own stories.”



    Report this comment

  2. Jan7 says:

    GOOD news…..two honorary degrees taken away!!!

    Fordham and Marquette universities have rescinded from Bill Cosby his honorary degrees amid allegations from women accusing the comedian of sexual assault.

    In Milwaukee, Marquette’s Board of Trustees approved a resolution Thursday rescinding an honorary degree presented to Cosby in 2013. The degree was immediately rescinded, the school said.

    Fordham’s Board of Trustees also voted to take back an honorary doctor of fine arts degree given to him in 2001.

    Both Jesuit schools said it is the first time they have rescinded an honorary degree.”



    Report this comment

  3. Jan7 says:

    Number of Honorary Degrees…cosby must love that he can just give money & get a degree without actually doing an work…sounds exactly like a sociopath = the quick way to manipulate people.

    It’s scary to think all of these Colleges & Universities brought in a serial rapist predator to be around young girls 18-24 years old. Hopefully all of these Univ/College will do the right thing and take away his honorary degrees.

    A full list of Universities/Colleges that have given Cosby an “honorary” degree:

    Boston University
    Marquette University
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Berklee College of Music
    Baylor University
    Yale University
    Sisseton Wahpeton College
    West Chester University
    Haverford College
    the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Amherst College
    Colgate University
    University of Southern California
    University of Connecticut
    Swarthmore College
    University of Pennsylvania (THIS ONE IS INTERESTING CONSIDERING JERRY SANDUSKY worked for this University)



    Report this comment

    • knownow says:

      Yesterday, Brown University also revoked Cosby’s doctorate of humane letters it bestowed on the comedian in 1985. The University President says Cosby’s admission he drugged women is “contrary to the values of Brown.” This is the third college to pull its honorary degree from Cosby in less than a week. I’m sure more will do the same following Cosby’s upcoming deposition on Oct. 9th. Let’s hope Gloria Allred will succeed in keeping his deposition “transparent” to the public.

      So, did Cosby donate money to all these colleges?



      Report this comment

  4. knownow says:

    More good news!
    “BILL COSBY SEEKS TO KEEP HIS UPCOMING DEPOSITION IN A CALIFORNIA CASE PRIVATE.” For full story see:

    http://blackchristiannews.com/2015/09/bill-cosby-seeks-to-keep-his-upcoming-deposition-in-a-california-case-private/

    “JUSTICE AT LAST? DISTRICT ATTORNEY PREPARING CRIMINAL RAPE CHARGES AGAINST BILL COSBY –– DISGRACED STAR ‘BRACING’ FOR THE INEVITABLE.” See:

    http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/bill-cosby-criminal-rape-charges-pennsylvania-district-attorney-preparing-prosecute-source/

    “FORMER MODEL IS SUING SCANDAL-PLAGUED COMEDIAN FOR DEFAMATION.” See:
    http://www.thewrap.com/janice-dickinsons-lawyers-file-motion-to-depose-bill-cosby/

    Finally, somebody’s going after Cosby’s attorney and partner in crime Martin Singer!



    Report this comment

  5. Jan7 says:

    BREAKING NEWS!! BILL COSBY WILL BE CHARGED WEDNESDAY WITH DRUGGING AND SEXUALLY ASSULT just days before the 12-year statute of limitations runs out!!!!!!

    “NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby was charged Wednesday with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home 12 years ago — the first criminal charges brought against the comedian out of the torrent of allegations that destroyed his good-guy image as America’s Dad.

    The case sets the stage for perhaps the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial of the mobile-all-the-time era and could send the 78-year-old Cosby to prison in the twilight of his life and barrier-breaking career.

    Prosecutors accused him of plying former Temple University employee Andrea Constand with pills and wine, then penetrating her with his fingers without her consent, while she was drifting in and out of consciousness, unable to resist or cry out.

    She was “frozen, paralyzed, unable to move,” Montgomery County District Attorney-elect Kevin Steele said. In court papers, prosecutors said the drugs were the cold medicine Benadryl or some other, unidentified substance. Steele noted that Cosby has admitted giving quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with.

    The TV star acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he had sexual contact with Constand but said it was consensual. Calls to his attorneys were not immediately returned.

    He was to be arraigned in the afternoon on a charge of aggravated indecent assault, punishable by five to 10 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine.

    The charges came down just days before the 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.

    The case represents an about-face by the district attorney’s office, which under a previous DA declined to charge Cosby in 2005 when Constand first told police that the comic violated her by putting his hands down her pants at his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Cheltenham.

    Prosecutors reopened the case over the summer as damaging testimony was unsealed in Constand’s related civil lawsuit against Cosby and as dozens of other women came forward with similar accusations that made a mockery of his image as the wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable from TV’s “The Cosby Show.”

    At that point, “reopening this case was not a question. Rather, reopening this case was our duty as law enforcement officers,” Steele said.

    He urged any other alleged victims to come forward as well.

    Constand, who is now 42, lives in Toronto and works as a massage therapist. Her attorney, Dolores Troiani, welcomed the charges.

    “She feels that they believe her, and, to any victim, that is foremost in your mind: Are people going to believe me,” Troiani said.

    The case adds to the towering list of legal problems facing the TV star, including defamation and sex-abuse lawsuits filed in Boston, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania. But as for criminal charges, many of the alleged assaults date back decades, and the statute of limitations has expired in nearly every case.

    Cosby in 1965 became the first black actor to land a leading role in a network drama, “I Spy,” and he went on to earn three straight Emmys. Over the next three decades, the Philadelphia-born comic created TV’s animated “Fat Albert” and the top-rated “Cosby Show,” the 1980s sitcom celebrated as groundbreaking television for its depiction of a warm and loving black family headed by two professionals — one a lawyer, the other a doctor.

    He was a fatherly figure off camera as well, serving as a public moralist and public scold, urging young people to pull up their saggy pants and start acting responsibly.

    Constand, who worked for the women’s basketball team at Temple, where Cosby was a trustee and proud alumnus, said she was assaulted after going to his home in January 2004 for some career advice.

    Then-District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to charge Cosby, saying at the time that the comedian and his accuser could be portrayed in “a less than flattering light.” This year, Castor said that if the damning allegations in Constand’s lawsuit had been known at the time, “we might have been able to make a case.”

    Castor tried to make a comeback as district attorney in the November election but lost.

    After the criminal case went nowhere, Constand settled her lawsuit against Cosby in 2006 on confidential terms.

    Her allegations and similar ones from other women in the years that followed did not receive wide attention at the time but exploded into view in late 2014, first online, then in the wider media, after comedian Hannibal Buress mocked the moralizing Cosby as a hypocrite and called him a rapist during a standup routine.



    Report this comment

    • Jan7 says:

      here is another powerful headline!

      “Arrest Warrant Issued for Bill Cosby for Alleged January 2004 Sexual Assault of Andrea Constand.”



      Report this comment

    • Jan7 says:

      This was one Cosby’s drug of choice to incapacitate his victims. This article explains what happens he he gave his victims a drug so that he could then rape them. So incredibly scary!

      “…A brief history of quaaludes

      Quaaludes, or methaqualone, were first produced in labs in India in 1955; the scientists who made the drug were trying to find a cure for malaria. While the drug was ineffective against the disease, it appeared to work as a sedative. After the drug was patented in 1962, doctors in the UK began prescribing it to patients who had trouble sleeping; it started being widely used in the US in the ’70s.

      As early as the late 1960s, people at dance clubs were using quaaludes, known then as “disco biscuits.” By the ’80s, they were outlawed.

      Quaaludes and the brain

      Like other drugs, quaaludes affect our brain chemistry by altering the levels of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that pass along the signals that control our thinking and behavior.

      Quaaludes are a type of sedative, which work in the brain by halting the functioning of our “excitatory” messengers, the ones that typically increase our energy levels, and boosting the activity of our “inhibitory” messengers, those that usually work to calm things down.

      Jordan Belfort, the man who inspired the film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” described his experience with the drug in his autobiography:

      All at once a warm feeling came rising up my brain stem, as a pleasant tingling sensation went ricocheting through every molecule of my body. The phone receiver was still at my ear and I wanted to tell Bo to have Rocco come pick me up at the Brookville Country Club, but I couldn’t get my lips to move. It was as if my brain was sending out signals but they were being intercepted — or scrambled. I felt paralyzed. And I felt wonderful. I stared at the shiny metal face of the pay phone and cocked my head to the side, trying to find my own reflection … How pretty the phone looked! … So shiny it was!

      The key important inhibitory messenger that quaaludes act on is GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid.

      This action is why quaaludes make us drowsy and slow down our heart rate and breathing. It’s also one of the reasons they’re so dangerous — a quaalude overdose can result in coma or even death. If they’re combined with another sedative like alcohol, they become far more dangerous, and much lower doses of the drug can kill.”



      Report this comment

    • stronginthecity says:

      Jan7,
      I saw this today when they showed his ugly disgusting mug on TV.
      UGH!!
      It’s about frigin time!
      HURRAH!
      SITC



      Report this comment

  6. Jan7 says:

    To ALL Bill Cosby’s victims, you should be so proud of yourselves for not only exposing this serial rapist sociopath to the world but also for joining forces to get him prosecuted!

    It’s been a long road for all of you but now it will fall into the hands of a jury.



    Report this comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.