Bill Cosby Accuser Joan Tarshis to CNN: 'I Blamed Myself'


Joan Tarshis, the latest woman to accuse Bill Cosby of rape, gave an interview to CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday, providing more details about the two times she says the comedian raped her when she was just 19 years old.

Tarshis reiterated many of the same details she previously shared in an essay about the alleged rapes. In her interview with Lemon, Tarshis said shame and guilt kept her from coming forward before now. She is the 14th woman to accuse Bill Cosby of similar sexual misconduct.

She described her initial meetings with Cosby and what led up to the first time she claims he drugged and raped her:

“We went up to his bungalow. He made me a drink and very shortly after that I just passed out. I woke up or came t very groggily, with him removing my underwear.”

She told Lemon how she tried to lie to Cosby about having an STD to try and get him to stop.

“I said if you have sex with me, your wife is going to know it because you probably will infect her. I thought I was very clever in saying that but he was more clever. And instead he made me have oral sex with him, which was really just horrible.”

Lemon asked her why she never went to the police with her accusations. Tarshis said she was hesitant because no one else had come forward with a similar story and feared no one would believe her story of being sexually assaulted by such a famous man.

“I didn’t know his history. I assumed I was not the only girl that he was doing this with. But who’s going to believe me…who would believe me? They’d probably think I was out to get something.”

She said, in the end, her emotions won out, and she kept silent for 20 years.

“I felt a lot of shame, I felt a lot of guilt. I felt a lot of ‘shoulds.’ I should have known there was something wrong with this man. I should have felt something was off with him. And I was angry at myself that I didn’t and blamed myself.”

On Monday, Tarshis also did an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, in which she further describes her fear of coming forward:

What could I say? I was 19 years old. I felt, He’s Bill Cosby. He’ll lawyer himself up. I don’t have a lawyer. It’s going to be he said, she said, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy. Keep in mind that if I had come forward back then, I would have been the first one that would have said this.
And God knows what his lawyers would do to me. My reputation would have been ruined. They would have said that I was there to seduce him. They would have turned the story around.
And part of me was saying, hey, this guy knows a lot of big guys. Maybe they would find my body in a canyon in L.A. He became a scary guy to me.

So far, Cosby has remained steadfast in his refusal to respond to the allegations, and has cancelled several promotional interviews for his upcoming Netflix project.
Watch Tarshis’ interview with Lemon below:

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