Previously Anonymous Bill Cosby Accuser Bravely Reveals Her Identity To Support Other Victims Of His Alleged Abuse
In 2005, Jane Doe #2 was ready to testify against Bill Cosby in a sexual assault case against him, then the case was settled out of court. But now, Jane Doe #2 is stepping forward to reveal her true identity. In an interview with People magazine, Jennifer Thompson claimed Bill Cosby pressured her for sex acts in the late '80s. Thompson previously told her story in November 2014, but had People magazine change her name to Jena T. to protect her privacy. Since then she's seen a huge amount of fellow victims come forward, and Thompson says she wanted to reveal her identity to lend credibility to her case. She also wants to support those who experienced similar trauma at the comedian's hands.
"From what I have come to understand, my inability to give a full name or an image in the case a decade ago prevented credibility with decision-makers or editors about revealing my testimony and experience to the public," she told the magazine. "Likewise, today, without a full name to stand my story upon, I am regarded as less credible. And I am getting older; I am a bit tired of the charade."
It's a great response to Cosby's lawyer Martin Singer, who once denounced Thompson's accusations based on the anonymity. "It's absurd to publish this unsubstantiated story from this anonymous person," he said when Thompson's story first came out.
It's doubtful Singer will retract that statement now that Thompson has come forward with her name and face. Cosby and his legal team's tactic throughout all this has been to stay quiet. His lawyer's statement from November 2014 remains unchanged:
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.
But Thompson is still standing up for herself and for the other women involved. "This has been a very huge chapter of my life, and I want to stand up and support others," she told People.
According to Thompson, she and Cosby first met when she was a 17-year-old aspiring model. Her agency sent her straight to the comedian who promised to help launch her career. Thompson reveals that soon Cosby began making advances that made her uncomfortable.
He said, "Get that magazine, pick an outfit and I'll get you that outfit. You'll wear that outfit and we'll go out to a nice dinner. And then you can come back here. And you can have Amaretto, your favorite, and you'll be tired so you can just stay here and sleep on the couch."
Thompson says she tried to sever contact with him when his insistence that they spend time together grew to be too much, but eventually Thompson went back to Cosby's home for closure. "I decided there must be something wrong with me and I must go ahead and do whatever it was that he expected of me, and get better," she said. It was then that Thompson had her last encounter with Cosby, in which she claims he pressured her for a sex act. Although the details are fuzzy to her because she says she's pretty much "blanked [it] out," she does remember parts of the night.
"He put his leg between my two legs, but I wasn't excited," she recounted. "But I knew that that was the point — I had to get him excited ... The whole thing was like — I just knew that I gave him a hand job." When Thompson left his house she tried to make herself feel better by telling herself it was her choice. "I tried my best to muster a sort of, 'I am an adult making this decision.' Did I really feel that way? No."
The stories from all the Cosby accusers (there are over 30 now) make me terribly sad. In all of them there's this element of confusion as this man who was beloved by a country turns on them, and then they're made to feel like it was their fault, or they aren't believed. That's why Thompson wanted to come forward with her name.
"I decided to speak my truth. I would rather go to bed at night knowing that I've been honest," she said about why she chose to reveal her identity. "Every time the story comes up I feel a little bit more alive, like maybe one day this will be common knowledge and I won't have to be undercover anymore about this part of my life."
I'm so glad to see Thompson being brave and coming forward to lend her support to the case against Cosby, but also to the other women involved. I hope as America continues to see the names and faces of these women that we can finally confront Cosby's alleged behavior head on.
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