While Bill Cosby remains silent on the recently publicized rape allegations against him, more and more rape survivors are continuing to speak out about being sexually assaulted by the comedian. Following up on actress Barbara Bowman's Washington Post op-ed of last week, in which she accuses Cosby of drugging and raping her repeatedly in the 1980s, yet another woman -- music publicist and journalist Joan Tarshis -- has come forward with a similar story.
In an essay for Hollywood Elsewhere, Tarshis claims Cosby drugged and raped her twice in 1969, when she was just 19 years old and staying in Los Angeles with two friends of Cosby's. After being introduced to the comedian at Universal Studios, Tarshis writes that she was invited back to the set of "The Bill Cosby Show" multiple times, as the star seemed to have taken a liking to her:
One day he asked me to stay after the shooting and work on some material with him. ... In his bungalow he made me a redeye [a Bloody Mary topped with beer] [...]
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 says she was roped into seeing Cosby a second time when he invited her to watch him at the Westbury Music Theater:
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. [...]
I remember feeling very, very stoned [at the theater] 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.’
While Cosby continued to garner public praise in the following decades, Tarshis claims she remained silent about her experience because she felt ashamed. It was only when other women began to speak out, she writes, that she finally began to feel "the time is right to join them.”