Another woman alleging that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her has come forward, and her story is extra disturbing. In addition to saying that the 77-year-old comedian drugged her, Bill Cosby's latest accuser says he made her to smear oatmeal on her face and act like a Queen. The woman, choosing only to reveal her first name Patricia, recounted her story to Katie J.M. Baker at BuzzFeed.
In 1978, a 22-year-old Patricia approached Cosby to thank him for his words after he spoke at the University of Massachusetts graduation. After this, they kept in touch, and Patricia began to feel a bit like his professional protege. She says that Cosby seemed "paternal" to her and became somewhat of a mentor, inviting her along to Hollywood parties to network, and promising to help her become a successful singer. Things took an ominous turn when he invited her to a "dinner party" at his home in Shelburne Falls. She thought his wife would be attending, but it became apparent that it was just her, Cosby, and a couple of fireside table settings. According to BuzzFeed:
"I felt alarm bells go off because it did feel intimate, but I was trying to be so grown up and mature,” said Patricia, now 58 years old. The Cosby family photos that lined the walls made her feel more at ease. She accepted the drink Cosby mixed her, along with his bizarre acting improvisation directions: Cosby wanted Patricia to pretend to be an elegant queen with oatmeal dripping all over her face.
“It was so creepy. He told me to convince him that I could remain regal and queenlike no matter what I looked like. I would leave the room and walk back in, pretending to be a queen with oatmeal on her face, and he would tell me I was doing it wrong and to go back and try again. Then, I started to feel weird from the drink. And then I don’t remember much.”
Describing a scene similar to what some of Cosby's other accusers (now numbering almost 30 women) say they have experienced, Patricia says she blacked out, and woke up naked on a bed with Cosby standing over her in a bathrobe. Telling her that she had vomited and passed out, he said he'd taken the liberty of washing her dress. As Baker notes with sarcasm, "He was even nice enough to offer her a toothbrush."
Patricia believed what Cosby told her, and was embarrassed that this had happened in the home of supposed benefactor. After this incident, Patricia and Cosby continued their relationship, which Patricia still viewed as one of professionalism. Cosby set Patricia up with acting classes as a prestigious conservatory. He flew her out to LA for networking events. He bought her a gym membership, because he believed she needed to lose weight.
Patricia cut off her relationship with Cosby after some more shady stuff happened when he invited her to appear on The Dinah Shore Show in 1980. Continuing his controlling ways with regard to her appearance, Cosby directed Patricia to wear her hair in a high bun resembling Queen Noor of Jordan, who Patricia said Cosby was "obsessed with." When she showed up, he refused to speak to her unless she took a pill from him. She blacked out, and awoke "knowing that someone had penetrated me." She confronted Cosby about the incident, at which he denied everything and accused her of being ungrateful. She lived with the story for years at the fear of not being believed. Patricia said,
“The late ’70s and early ’80s were very different times than the culture in which we live at present. Powerful men were not challenged by women. I didn’t think anyone would believe me."
From the weight loss directives to the oatmeal commands, Patricia's story says that she experienced a form of control and emotional abuse on top of being drugged and raped. It's horrific to think that one would have to keep this kind of abuse bottled up for decades owing to a culture that views survivors of sexual assault with skepticism. But in sharing her story, Patricia hopes that other women will be inspired to share their own. “You’re not alone," says Patricia "You don’t have to keep this a secret anymore.”
If anything good can come out of the horror, it's to change our culture's attitudes towards survivors of sexual assault. Just as importantly, we can't continue to allow powerful men to get away with doing horrible things to women.
According to a statement from Cosby's lawyer released in November,
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.
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