Bill Cosby now faces trial on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. He has been accused by 59 other women of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them. Meanwhile, his allies have been painting a picture of him as a victim of a conspiracy driven by racism. Cosby continues to deny all accusations and has even tried to burnish his reputation by associating himself with the civil rights movement. As one of Cosby’s accusers and a black immigrant Latina, I find this PR strategy reprehensible.
For many years I was afraid to go public. I knew that as a black woman accusing a beloved black celebrity of such heinous conduct, I would come under heavy scrutiny from the black community and expose myself to possible retaliation.
But on May 1, 2015, empowered by dozens of brave women who declared that they were victimized by Cosby, I finally found the courage to publicly accuse “America’s Dad” of drugging me, raping me, and threatening me to keep silent in the early 1990s, during the preparation for my guest-starring role on “The Cosby Show.” The day prior to going public, I filed a police report in Atlantic City, N.J., alleging that it was one of the locations where Cosby had attacked me. In an hours-long videotaped interview conducted by detectives, I told my story about the assault and other abuses I endured.
Later I was disappointed to find out that the prosecutor couldn’t even consider pressing charges, because the incident in Atlantic City occurred just a few months outside of the New Jersey statute of limitations.
In a July 2015 CNN interview, when asked whether she had ever seen a case where dozens of people accusing one person “were all making it up,” Cosby’s attorney at the time, Monique Pressley, responded, “Yes, through the decades we have seen what we used to call lynch mobs…That happened often in the ’60s and ’70s in this country.” In a May 2017 Breakfast Club radio statement, Cosby’s daughter Ensa said, “My father has been publicly lynched in the media.” (She also noted that her father was “a civil rights activist.”) Shortly thereafter, in a Sirius XM radio interview, Michael Smerconish asked Cosby if he agreed with his daughter’s claim that he is being racially targeted. Cosby answered, “Could be, could be . . . there are so many tentacles, so many different — nefarious is a great word, and I just truly believe that some of it may very well be that.”
Of the 60 women who’ve accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexual assault, one third of us are black.
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