More than half of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims came together to discuss the sexual abuse they experienced on an episode of Dateline which aired on Friday.
The interview was aired on the same day Cosby sat for a deposition for a lawsuit from Judy Huth, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Huth alleged he forced her to perform a sex act on him in 1974, when she was just 15 years old. On the special, a total of 29 women gave testimonies of being assaulted by the 78-year-old comedian. Many of them had also been featured in New York Magazine’s cover story of the victims in July.
Cindra Ladd described when she was drugged and raped by Cosby in 1969. “I had a headache and he told me, ‘I’ve got such a miracle cure for you. My doctor gave it to me,’” she said. “He went into another room and he brought back a capsule. He wouldn’t tell me what was in it and he was like, ‘Don’t you trust me?’ Well of course I did, it was Bill Cosby. I don’t really remember too much more that evening, but I do remember waking up the next morning nude in bed. And I blamed myself. I thought, “What did I do? Did I drink too much and black out?”
Most of the women initially believed Cosby would act as their mentor, as he invited them to audition and read scripts. Model Beverly Johnson spoke about being drugged by Cosby during an audition in his home in the mid-eighties. When she realized the cappuccino he had offered her was spiked, she was able to get away. “I personally, as a human being, could not look in the mirror and not come forward and tell my story about being drugged by Cosby,” said Johnson.
The testimonies were emotional and heartbreaking. Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer, who met Cosby in the 1970s, said, “It was his gloating over my humiliation that stayed with me. More than anything, he let me know, ‘You think you’re going anywhere in this business? You’re a loser.’” As the women looked at a wall of old photos of themselves, Former Playboy Bunny, P.J. Masten, pointed to her picture and cried, “That man took that girl and killed her. Because there’s a part of me inside that’s dead.”
Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Cosby’s son on The Cosby Show, recently spoke up about the allegations. “My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what, negative stereotypes of people of color, we’ve always had The Cosby Show to hold up against that,” Warner told the Associated Press. “And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me the most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairytale.”
A Massachusetts federal court recently denied Cosby’s bid to dismiss a libel lawsuit brought on by three of the victims, who said their reputations were tarnished when Cosby, through representatives, defended himself against their statements.
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Image via NBC.