More than a dozen of them told their stories in the A&E special "Cosby: The Women Speak," which aired tonight.
Statutes of limitations prevent most of Cosby's accusers from attempting to seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against him for incidents that allegedly occurred long ago. However, many are speaking out with the hope of changing these laws.
"He's given us all a purpose; a sisterhood purpose," Lise-Lotte Lublin says during the special. "We're going to make a change in the world. We've already started."
Adds Barbara Bowman: "I have gone from victim to victim's advocate."
Through his attorneys, Cosby has always denied all accusations of wrongdoing and has never been charged with a crime. Next month, he will be deposed in a civil lawsuit by lawyers for Judy Huth, who claimed last year that the comedian assaulted her in 1974, when she was 15. Martin Singer, Cosby’s attorney, has called the lawsuit “meritless and unsupported” and claims that the action is time-barred.
Still, the women who have accused him of wrongdoing are refusing to stay silent. Below are the stories of the women featured in the "Women Speak" special.
Joan Tarshis: Tarshis says she was an aspiring, 19-year-old comedy writer when she met Cosby in 1969. Cosby was starring on “The Bill Cosby Show” at the time and Tarshis says they went back to a room designated for eating lunch. There, she says, the comedian poured her a drink. “Very shortly after that, I just got very groggy,” she explained. “The next thing I know, he was there taking off my pants.” Tarshis says she claimed to have a vaginal infection so he wouldn't have intercourse with her and says Cosby then forced oral sex on her. “Then I was given $10 and a cab to take home," she added.
Cosby later invited Tarshis to one of his shows, so she could see some of her material performed, she says. “My mother, one afternoon, got a call and she sounded very excited. She says to me, ‘Bill Cosby is sending a car for you,’” Tarshis says. She says she did not want to tell her mother what had happened so she went. “My biggest mistake is I didn’t tell my mother,” she says. “I thought, ‘Maybe we are going to a theater, where there’s lots of people, so I’ll be OK.’” Tarshis says she had a drink in the limo and woke up the next morning, naked next to Cosby.
Victoria Valentino: Valentino, a former Playboy Playmate and actress, also says she met Cosby in 1969. Still Grieving the loss of her 6-year-old son in a drowning accident, Valentino had dinner with Cosby, who knew about the trauma, she says. “I was very depressed,” she says. “He leaned across, he put a pill next to my wine glass, he says, ‘Here, take this, this will make you feel better.’” Valentino says she took the pill and couldn’t keep her head up. She says she asked to go home but Cosby took her and one of her female friends to a small office. She says after forcing sex on her, he “walked out.”
Louisa Moritz: Moritz was an aspiring actress making a guest appearance on the “Tonight Show” in 1969 when she met Cosby, she says. While she was getting ready in her dressing room, she claims the comedian, who had a walk-on that night, barged into the room. “All of the sudden, this person from hell comes in and puts you through this disgusting episode,” she says. “I might have yelled ... but I knew better, because I was waiting to go on the biggest show on TV.” She says she attempted to push Cosby away, though he made her perform oral sex. “While he was leaving and zipping up his pants, he said, ‘Don’t forget, don’t make me mad. ... I'm gonna be your best friend,'" she adds.
Sarita Butterfield: Butterfield was 22 years old when her November 1977 issue of Playboy was set to come out featuring her as one of the Bunnies of 1977. One day, she says, Cosby, who had liked her photograph in the issue, called the young model, and invited her out to join his family for Christmas Eve dinner in Massachusetts. “Later that evening, I was in the guest house and I was alone,” she says. “Cosby wrapped his arms around me, grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back.” Butterfield says that he groped her breasts and "parts he had no right to," while she resisted. She also says she reminded the comedian that his family was there: “I’ve never gotten over it.”
Charlotte Fox: While being featured as an extra in Cosby’s film “Uptown Saturday Night” in the early 1970’s, Fox says the actor invited members of the cast to the Playboy Mansion. She says she doesn’t remember what she ate or drank, but recalled feeling ill and waking up in a room with Cosby. “He’s crawling up the bed. He had sex with me," she says, "[but] it was not consensual."
Heidi Thomas: Thomas says in 1984, when she was 24, Cosby called her and her parents to say he was "interested in mentoring promising, young talent" and invited her to Reno, Nevada. When she arrived, she says, she was told about a “change of plan,” which included a stay at a ranch house that allegedly belonged to a friend of Cosby. After performing a monologue for the comedian, he said, “Let’s try a cold read,” she claims. “He handed me a script and the person I’m supposed to be, clearly, is intoxicated.” Thomas says that she told Cosby that she did not have experience with alcohol and added that Cosby poured her a glass of wine that was to be a “prop.” "I don’t remember anything other than one sip,” she says. She says the next few days are a drug-induced blur, but she says she does remember mental snap shots of an alleged sexual assault. “My clothes were on, his were not," she says.
Beth Ferrier: When she was 24, Ferrier met Cosby, with whom she was involved in two-year consensual affair, she says. But by 1986, she says, they'd broken up. Around that time, Ferrier says she met the comedian in Denver, where she says he made her favorite beverage, a cappuccino. She took a sip, she says, and the next thing she remembers is waking up in the back of her car in a dark alley with her clothing unbuttoned. “I definitely felt very violated,” she says. "With whom? Who knew? I didn't know." Later, still feeling woozy, she says, she confronted Cosby at his hotel, but he refused to discuss the matter. “I didn’t know what had happened,” she says. “If you don’t know anything, then how can you go to someone and say, ‘I’ve been molested or raped?’”
Barbara Bowman: In 1985, Bowman was a 17-year-old aspiring model and actress who says she met Cosby when he came to Denver, where she lived, to scout for talent. He offered to mentor her, while over time, he drugged and sexually assaulted her multiple times, she says. According to Bowman, the final incident was in Atlantic City. She says she "was coherent enough to fight and scratch and scream and cry and try to wrestle my way out of there." "I fought so hard that he eventually just threw me away, off the bed," she says. "He looked me square in the eye and he said, 'I'd better never, ever hear your name or see your face again." She says she told a friend and went to a lawyer in 1989, but "he laughed me out of the office."
Beverly Johnson: The supermodel, who dreamed of being in "The Cosby Show," says she met Cosby when she was in her 30s and he invited her to his home to read for a part. There, she claims, he offered her a cappuccino and drugged her. "He puts one hand around my waist and I remember cocking my head and saying, 'You're a motherf*****, aren't you?'" she says. "I was so disappointed. It was like a family member had done something to me." She says she was not raped, and that he put her in a cab and sent her away. "I knew that the kind of person I was dealing with would destroy me," she says.
Chelan Lasha: Lasha says she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress when her aunt showed Cosby her photo. She says he invited her to his Las Vegas hotel room where he offered to introduce her to contacts at a modeling agency. According to Lasha, he also gave her what he said was an antihistamine for her allergies. After taking “a blue pill” she says, she felt “catatonic” and couldn’t move her legs. While he began grunting and pinching her breasts, she says, she blacked out. "I woke up to him saying, 'Daddy said wake up!'" she recalls, adding that he left her $1,500 on the dresser. Lasha, who has had run-ins with the law since then, says the incident changed her life. “I thought he was going to help me but he didn’t -- he hurt me,” she says, sobbing.
Lise-Lotte Lublin: In 1989, Lublin, then 23, met Cosby in his Las Vegas hotel room for acting coaching, where he suggested she have a drink to help her deliver her lines, she says. "Within just a few more seconds or minutes I was completely blacked out," she says. "I don't really have a memory of what I did or how I behaved or what I felt." Lublin says she now believes she too was a victim of sexual assault.
Eden Tirl: Tirl was 23 when she appeared on "The Cosby Show." She claims she was singled out on set and called to Cosby's dressing room where she was harassed. "I cannot imagine that there aren't people that were working in and around that set that knew that something was going on."
Cosby’s camp has repeatedly denied that any of his accuser’s claims are true.
“Mr. Cosby has denied the accusations that have been lodged thus far," said his lawyer, Monique Pressley on "Good Morning America." "The sheer volume or number of people who are saying a particular thing does not make it true.”