New Bill Cosby Victim Comes Forward, Accuses Him of Raping Her Twice


Another woman has come forward to accuse comedian Bill Cosby of rape.

Joan Tarshis, a publicist and former actress, came forward with her story in an article for the site Hollywood Elsewhere on Sunday. In the article, Tarshis claims Cosby raped her twice in 1969 when she was just 19 years old. (Cosby accuser Barbara Bowman, who wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post last week, was also allegedly raped by the comedian when she was a teenager in the late 1980’s.)

Tarshis said she was an aspiring writer in 1969, when she flew to Los Angeles from New York to write for stand-up comedian Godfrey Cambridge. It was there that she met Bill Cosby, who was already a famous television star from The Bill Cosby Show. Cosby took a liking to her and invited her out several times, giving her the nickname “Midget” and introducing her to movie star Sidney Poitier. Tarshis said Cosby was “generous” with food and drinks, always topping her Bloody Mary off with a beer (a special drink he called a “redeye”).

In her account on Hollywood Elsewhere, Tarshis described the first of two times she says she was sexually assaulted by the comedian:

“One day he asked me to stay after the shooting and work on some material with him. I was even more flattered and thought this would help move my writing career along. In his bungalow he made me a redeye, and I began to tell him about the earthquake Los Angeles had just had and the sound it made. He liked my ideas for an earthquake bit.
“The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed. Through the haze I thought I was being clever when I told him I had an infection and he would catch it and his wife would know he had sex with someone. But he just found another orifice to use. I was sickened by what was happening to me and shocked that this man I had idolized was now raping me. Of course I told no one.

Tarshis then described a second time she was raped by Cosby. She said left Los Angeles and went back home to stay with her parents. Her mother was starstruck, beaming with pride that her daughter had worked with someone like Cosby, making it almost impossible to tell her mother just what had happened.

One day, Cosby called her home and told her mother he wanted to invite her to theater performance.

“I was repulsed by the thought of seeing him again, but I saw no way out,” Tarshis wrote. “I couldn’t tell my mother what he had done. Or what I had let happen, feeling the guilt that rape victims often feel.”

Feeling pressured and with no way to explain to her mother why she wouldn’t want to go with the famous actor, Tarshis agreed to meet Cosby again.

He sent a limo to pick me up and I was dropped off at the Sherry Netherland Hotel and went up to his suite. I remember noticing that his leather shaving kit was filled with bottles of pills, and thinking that this seemed odd. He was, of course, very friendly and I, of course, was very uncomfortable. He made me a redeye, and I, being nervous and dealing at the time with an alcohol problem (I’ve been in recovery since 1988), drank it. In the car I had something else to drink, but was already beginning to feel a bit stoned.
When we got to Westbury and he went on, there was no seat for me. I stood in the back of the theater with his chauffeur, feeling insulted that I wasn’t respected enough to be given a reserved seat. But soon after, I remember feeling very, very stoned and asking his chauffeur to take me back to the car. I was having trouble standing up. The next thing I remember was waking up in his bed back at the Sherry, naked. I remember thinking ‘You old shit, I guess you got me this time, but it’s the last time you’ll ever see me.’

It took more than 20 years for Tarshis to come forward with her story. “During those years as I grew into adulthood, I watched Cosby be praised by everyone from Presidents to Oprah to the Jello Corporation,” she said. “It all made me ill, knowing first-hand there was something unbalanced about him.”

So far Cosby has refused to address the multiple allegations of rape by several women. On Sunday, his lawyer issued a statement saying the comedian would not discuss the claims any further.

Tarshis said with more and more victims coming forward with the same or similar stories “the time is right to join them.”

Image via Getty.

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