Beverly Johnson: ‘Bill Cosby Drugged Me’
Model/actress Beverly Johnson is the latest Bill Cosby accuser to come forward in a new essay in Vanity Fair today that accuses Cosby of drugging her in the mid-80s while she was auditioning for a role on The Cosby Show. The actor had lowered her defenses by first inviting Beverly to bring her young daughter over for dinner where he put on the full Pudding Man act, so naturally she agreed to come to his house later in the week for lunch. And then the espresso machine full of rape coffee happened. You just read that:
After the meal, we walked upstairs to a huge living area of his home that featured a massive bar. A huge brass espresso contraption took up half the counter. At the time, it seemed rare for someone to have such a machine in his home for personal use.
Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested that I pretend to be drunk. (When did a pregnant woman ever appear drunk on The Cosby Show? Probably never, but I went with it.)
As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine. I told him I didn’t drink coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn’t let it go. He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model on the market and promised I’d never tasted a cappuccino quite like this one.
It’s nuts, I know, but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sips of the coffee just to appease him.
Now let me explain this: I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs flowed at parties and photo shoots like bottled water at a health spa. I’d had my fun and experimented with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged—and drugged good.
As Erin Gloria Ryan points out, and I’m kicking myself for missing, the rapespresso machine is something that has been brought up before by another accuser Beth Ferrier because why wouldn’t a man who’s “allegedly” gotten away with raping so many women not have an entire coffee machine ready to dish out roofie lattes at a moment’s notice? It’d be foolish not to. Except apparently the trick is to make sure your victim drinks enough which is fortunately what didn’t happen, according to Beverly Johnson:
As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic-survival mode. That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment.
“You are a motherfucker aren’t you?”
That’s the exact question I yelled at him as he stood there holding me, expecting me to bend to his will. I rapidly called him several more “motherfuckers.” By the fifth, I could tell that I was really pissing him off. At one point he dropped his hands from my waist and just stood there looking at me like I’d lost my mind.
Realizing this wasn’t going to go his way, Cosby allegedly dragged her downstairs where he waved down a taxi and tossed her in. After somehow making it home and recovering, Beverly Johnson decided to call Cosby and confront him only to run smack into the realization of who exactly she’s dealing with:
I dialed the private number he’d given me expecting to hear his voice on the other end. But he didn’t answer. His wife did. A little shocked, I quickly identified myself to her in the most respectful way possible and then asked to speak to Bill. Camille politely informed me that it was very late, 11:00 P.M. and that they were both in bed together.
I apologized for the late call and explained that I was in Los Angeles and had forgotten about the three-hour time difference. I added that I would call back tomorrow.
I didn’t call back the next day or any other day after that. At a certain moment it became clear that I would be fighting a losing battle with a powerful man so callous he not only drugged me, but he also gave me the number to the bedroom he shared with his wife.
Beverly Johnson also takes herself to task for not coming forward sooner because “black men have enough enemies out there already,” so maybe go nuts with that instead of the usual bullshit of, “Eh, these shady whores all want money and attention.” Try and shake things up a bit.