Bill Cosby Accused of Sexual Abuse by Another Woman Who Found Strength in Other Women’s Claims
After seeing other women speak out against Bill Cosby, another female has come forward and decided to talk publicly about her experience. Jena T. opened up about Cosby's assault in an interview with People, making her the 15th accuser to speak without anonymity. (Although she didn't allow the magazine to include her last name, she did let them publish her photo.) Jena's encounters with Cosby left her with trust issues for decades, People reports. She's also a former Jane Doe, who spoke with attorneys in 2005 and 2006 during Andrea Constand's civil case, which eventually settled out of court. As to why she's coming forward now, Jena told the magazine,
It's because of Bill Cosby that Jena, 44, moved from Maryland to New York City at age 17. In 1988, she was an aspiring model and Cosby even spoke to her parents, assuring them she would be just fine. Jena recalls, "He promised my parents he'd take care of me. The first time I met him, I had tears in my eyes." She says he "looked like" her father.
After getting Jena's parents on board with the move, Cosby invited all three of them to dinner. Jena's mom, Judy, remembers him seeming sincere:
Betraying that trust, Jena began to feel uncomfortable soon after moving in. Cosby reportedly insisted they spent time together. He also repeatedly called her and asked her to dinner. Then in the summer of 1989, she mailed him a poem: "Receive a phone call from the Big Man / Who says he has a plan ... He is a thief, a hypocrite and a whore / Who only wants more." Although Jena didn't expect to hear from Cosby after that, she decided to go visit him in New York, hoping to gain closure. She says:
Instead of getting better, the complete opposite happened. Cosby expressed concern about the poem, worrying she had "emotional problems." He reportedly offered for her to stay in a mental health center, and then he'd buy her a car and send her to college. She declined this offer, but agreed to have lunch with Cosby and his friend Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a psychiatrist. (When contacted by People, Poussaint said doesn't remember this lunch.)
Things only got worse after that meal when Jena went back to Cosby's home. She says she "blanked out" what happened, but feels like he knew she was "ready to give in." Here's what she remembers:
Jena says Cosby gave her $700 before she left. She tried to assure herself that she was an adult making her own decisions, yet didn't actually believe it. In the years following, Jena sought counseling, but her mother says that no one really believed her. Judy says, " It didn't begin to resolve what happened to her when you can't find a therapist that accepts what you're saying as truth... Finally she will be believed ... None of these women are coming after money. They're coming after validation."
That last part is so true. While people claim all of this is for attention and money, Jena's mom's comment about validation and wanting to be heard is extremely important. It's also sad that several of the women who have spoken out initially genuinely believed Cosby would help them with their careers. If all of the accusations are true, it shows a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable young women.
Reflecting on the experience, Jena told People:
Martin Singer, Cosby's attorney, told People, "It's absurd to publish this unsubstantiated story from this anonymous person." Speaking of all of the recent allegations, Singer said in a statement:
This is in addition to previous statements Singer has made. He released a statement on Nov. 20 in regards to the claims from multiple women and in particular mentioned a woman named Linda Joy Traitz, and on Nov. 16 released the following:
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