It turns out that Janice Dickinson has been warning us about Bill Cosby for years. The model's new accusations of sexual assault were publicized on Tuesday, but it's hardly the first time she's talked about the actor's alleged skeevy behavior toward women. Dickinson claims that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1982. "The last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me," she told Entertainment Tonight. But her accusations of unwanted sexual advances stem back to her 2002 memoir where she documented the time Cosby tried to guilt her into having sex.
After dinner he asked me back to his room, and I went. But I stopped myself at the door. “I’m exhausted,” I said, begging off. His eyebrows went a little funny.
“Exhausted?” he asked, and it was clear he was trying hard to keep his temper in check. “After all I’ve done for you, that’s what I get? I’m exhausted.”
“Well, gee, Bill,” I stammered. “If I had known it was going to be like this—”
He waved both hands in front of my face, silencing me. Then he gave me the dirtiest, meanest look in the world, stepped into his suite, and slammed the door in my face.
Dickinson revealed on Tuesday that she'd also wanted her book to express the details of the 1982 sexual assault as well, but was told to cease and desist by his lawyers.
In 2006, she again tried to talk about Cosby, this time in a radio interview with Howard Stern. "Bill Cosby was the only guy I couldn't write about in the book, because HarperCollins is afraid of lawsuits," she told the radio host. "And I don't want to get near that because I don't have the shekels that you do or that Cosby does. The guy's a bad guy, he's not a nice guy. He preys on women who just come out of rehab. I'll say that."
That story lines up with her new claims that Cosby assaulted her in Lake Tahoe, shortly after she got out of rehab. It's so unfortunate that Dickinson had to talk about Cosby's behavior three times over the span of a decade before she was listened to. Unfortunately, the audio clip of her 2006 interview is cut off before we hear Stern's response. But I think it's safe to assume that no one really cared because the issue went unnoticed again in the public eye for another eight years.
People wonder why it's so hard for victims of assault to report the incident, but this is exactly why. Because Dickinson cried out for attention to this issue twice and no one paid any mind. I'm so glad that people are coming forward now and that the public seems to be responding with belief, but it's a shame it took this long for the public to question Cosby and his alleged actions. Dickinson's words should have meant more to people back when they were said the first time.
As for Cosby, his lawyer released the following statement on Sunday:
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.