A new accuser has come forward Sunday claiming that she was raped twice by Bill Cosby while working with the veteran comedian in 1969.
The charges, made by publicist Joan Tarshis in a story posted Sunday on the Hollywood Elsewhere web site, are the latest in a series of troubling claims of sexual assault against Cosby. The allegations picked up steam last week after actress Barbara Bowman, claimed that Cosby raped her in an essay in the Washington Post.
Tarshis said that the first incident occurred in 1969, when she was 19 years old. Here’s some of her account from the story:
” I had flown to Los Angeles from New York to work on a monologue with Godfrey Cambridge. Two women I was staying with were friends of Bill Cosby, and they took me to have lunch with him in his cottage at Universal Studios, where he was shooting The Bill Cosby Show. He was always generous with his food and drinks, though he never drank alcohol. But he always topped my Bloody Mary’s with beer, which he called a ‘redeye.’
“One day he asked me to stay after the shooting and work on some material with him. I was even more flattered and thought this would help move my writing career along. In his bungalow he made me a redeye, and I began to tell him about the earthquake Los Angeles had just had and the sound it made. He liked my ideas for an earthquake bit.
“The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed. 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.”
Tarshis said that she felt guilty about the encounter and repulsed by Cosby, but that her mother was proud that her daughter has worked with the comedian. Her mother answered the phone when he called to invite her to attend a Westbury Music Theater production, and Tarshis said she didn’t think she could refuse the offer without telling her parents what had happened.
“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.'”
Tarshis said that it took her about 20 years to admit the incidents to anyone.
Cosby, through his lawyer on Sunday, downplayed the allegations but indicated that he would not comment further. He also refused to answer a question regarding the assault charges Saturday during an interview with National Public Radio.