Legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson says she would have three words to say to Bill Cosby if she were to see the legendary TV star, whom she accused of drugging her in 1986 during a meeting for a possible part on “The Cosby Show."
“I forgive you,” Johnson said today on “Good Morning America” of what she would tell the comedian, who has been accused by more than two dozen women of drugging them or sexually assaulting them.
Johnson, 62, came forward with her alleged encounter with Cosby last December, claims which she detailed in an interview with ABC News and a first-person essay in Vanity Fair.
“It was almost like a family member had betrayed me, it was such a huge sense of betrayal for me,” Johnson said at the time, adding that other women also accusing Cosby “gave me the courage to go forward.”
To date, Cosby has not been charged with a crime in connection to the accusations of drugging and sexual assault and his lawyers have dismissed the allegations.
Johnson says she wants to leave it up to the legal system to decide Cosby’s fate.
"I just feel that he’s a lightning rod for a much bigger conversation and that conversation would be the rape culture in America,” Johnson said today on “GMA.”
Johnson, the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue, has put her life on pages in her new memoir, “The Face That Changed It All.”
The Buffalo, New York, native recalled her days as one of the world’s top models were fueled by cigarettes, champagne and drugs, and not much else.
“No food. ... We thought water was fattening back then,” Johnson said.
“A typical day is waking up at 5 a.m. and going on shoots and traveling the world and working with amazing photographers,” she said. “I do remember sleeping a lot, in between shooting.”
Johnson married young, at 19, and had a daughter, Anansa Sims, but struggled, she says, when that marriage ended. The model, who has appeared on more than 500 covers, says she is not sure what life is like for the young models of today.
"I’m not there in it but hopefully people understand the complications of drugs and the dangers of drugs," Johnson said. "Basically that’s why I really wanted to do my memoir and that’s why I really wanted to share my sobriety with everyone."
Johnson’s struggle with substance abuse was also a major part of her life story, until she got clean using a 12-step program.
“I think that people, and particularly in the 70s, remember it wasn’t addictive and that it increased your intelligence and it made your eyes sparkle and you lost your appetite,” Johnson said of the misconceptions about drugs during her modeling heyday. “We know more now than we did then.”
“I found sobriety in a 12-step program and I found sobriety with a spiritual path that I started to go on, and also with the strength of my daughter and my family and also just wanting to have the life that I always wanted and the life I think I deserved,” she said.