Kristina Ruehli, one of the 16 women that have come forward to claim Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them in one way or another, says she is sharing her story not for financial gain or “15 minutes of — not fame — shame,” but to help “dozens or hundreds” of other potential victims share their own experience.
“I am a woman who is very comfortable financially. I’m really happy. I have everything,” Ruehli told CNN in an interview on Monday. “I don’t want his money, or anyone else’s.”
There are two very big reasons the 71-year-old grandmother to eight did come forward, though.
“I don’t like to see these other women who have had similar experiences called liars and be trashed in the media, when I know that I can speak for them,” Ruehli said. “And the second reason, is to encourage others…there may be dozens or hundreds of other victims.”
Ruehli was a 22-year-old secretary at the Artists Agency Corp. when she met Cosby, who was a client at Beverly Hills talent agency.
Ruehili told CNN, and other outlets before appearing on the cable news network, that Cosby invited her to a party at his home in 1965, but she was the only guest in attendance when she arrived. Cosby served her two alcoholic beverages, and after that, she doesn’t “remember a thing.”
“When I awakened again, I found myself on a bed. He was there. He had his shirt off, and I believe he had his pants off. It’s pretty groggy. He had his hand on the back of my head,” Ruehli said, and alleged the comedian tried to force her to perform oral sex.
“And so I lifted my head away. I think it surprised him. I lifted my head away, and pulled myself away immediately. I went into the bathroom and I know I threw up a couple of times,” Ruehli continued. “When I finished, I came out and he was gone.”
Ruehli said she told her boyfriend about the incident months afterwards, but doesn’t recall discussing it with friends, because “things were different.”
“You didn’t talk about date rape with girlfriends,” Ruehli said.
She also provided some insight into one of the biggest questions those skeptical about the allegations against the “Cosby Show” patriarch bring up: Why didn’t she go to the police?
“He had not injured me,” Ruehli said. “What had he done? He had exposed himself to me – but this was the ’60s. It never occurred to me to go to the police.”
Ruehli thinks it’s time Cosby admits foul play, if he has “the balls” to do so, and questioned the logic behind scrutinizing the alleged victims’ claims and motivation for making them.
“Who would want this 15 minutes of — not fame — shame?” Ruehli asked. “So I’m here to say to the others who have come forward, and who I hope will come forward, it takes courage.”