Another Bill Cosby rape accuser has come forward over the weekend. This time, journalist Joan Tarshis published an essay on the Hollywood Elsewhere website, wherein she claims Cosby raped her twice about 45 years ago. Cosby and Tarshis had struck up a friendship of sorts; the comedian would routinely invite Tarshis to hang out at his room on the lot where he was filming The Bill Cosby Show. Tarshis claims that Cosby raped her twice in 1969 while she was 19 years old. Tarshis joins the no less than 13 other women who have accused the iconic comedian of sexual assault.
Tarshis claims Cosby would make her Bloody Mary-mixed-with-beer drinks. One night after consuming one such mixture Tarshis lost consciousness, she claims. “The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed,” she wrote on Hollywood Elsewhere. “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.”
These new allegations have surfaced after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist onstage in Philadelphia last month. Once a clip of the Buress bit went viral, previous rape accuser Barbara Bowman gave an in-depth interview to The Daily Mail and penned an op-ed for the Washington Post. In the wake of the allegations’ revival, Cosby didn’t go through with an appearance on The Queen Latifiah Show and has since canceled a Late Show with David Letterman interview.
In her essay, Tarshis recalls a second incident, in which she claims Cosby raped her again after one of his shows on Long Island, NY.
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.
When we got to Westbury and he went on, there was no seat for me. I stood in the back of the theater with his chauffeur, feeling insulted that I wasn’t respected enough to be given a reserved seat. But soon after, I remember feeling very, very stoned 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.’
On Sunday, the same day Tarshis published her essay, Cosby’s lawyer John P. Schmitt, released a statement, saying, “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.”
The Tarshis allegations and essay were printed a day after Bill Cosby and wife Camille appeared on NPR to promote their lending of 62 pieces of African Art to the Smithsonian in Washington DC. In that interview – recorded about a week before its airing – Sam Simon asked if Cosby wanted to comment on the recently revived allegations of rape. Here’s what happened:
SCOTT SIMON: “This question gives me no pleasure, Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.”
BILL COSBY: [SILENCE]
SIMON: “You’re shaking your head no. I’m in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?”
SIMON: “Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance.”
SIMON: “Alright. Camille and Bill Cosby. They have lent 62 pieces from their collection of African and African-American art to create an exhibit called Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue. It’s now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art through early 2016. Thank you both.”
Cosby continues to tour the country performing stand-up. His next show is in Melbourne, Florida on Nov. 21, followed by shows in Las Vegas, and Yakima, WA on Nov. 28 and 29, respectively.