As decades-old allegations continue to resurface, Bill Cosby has canceled various television appearances. But he did agree to what turned into a painfully awkward, silence-filled interview with NPR on Saturday. Now, his lawyer is speaking for Cosby while a new rape accusation emerged.
In a statement posted to the comedian's website (home of a meme gone wrong/right) yesterday, lawyer John P. Schmitt said, "Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives."
Around the same time this statement was made, Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells wrote that because of the accusations becoming public again, "[A]n old friend, former actress, music industry publicist and journalist Joan Tarshis, has decided to share her own, heretofore private story about her unfortunate encounter with Cosby back in 1969. She had opportunities to spill to the tabloids a few years back but she didn’t want to go that route. The flood of recent Cosby coverage has changed her mind." Here's an excerpt of what happened when she was a 19-year-old woman:
“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.
“Back home with my parents, my mother kept bringing his name up as a source of pride. Cosby was very hot then with his first sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show, and she was proud that her daughter had written with him. So the day that he called, she answered the phone and he told her he was inviting me to The Westbury Music Theater. I was repulsed by the thought of seeing him again, but I saw no way out. I couldn’t tell my mother what he had done. Or what I had let happen, feeling the guilt that rape victims often feel.
“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[n alcoholic drink] 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 added, "No one began talking until 2004. And though I knew I should say something, I still felt ashamed. Ashamed that I didn’t earlier. In any event now, as more and more of his rape victims have come forward, all telling similar stories, the time is right to join them.”