Update, February 17, 2017: Bill Cosby won a court victory Thursday when a U.S. District Judge threw out a defamation case one of his accusers filed against him. In the suit, Katherine McKee claimed that Cosby had defamed her by calling her a liar and an extortionist. McKee also claims Cosby sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. McKee is one of about 60 women who have come forward with similar allegations against Cosby, the comedian and actor whose most famous and beloved role was that of Heathcliff Huxtable. Some of those women are named below; others have emerged in the two years since this story was written. Despite this week’s victory, the case against Cosby is far from over.
Heathcliff Huxtable is dead. At the time the 77 year old comedian was slated to make a comeback-Netflix was scheduled to launch a stand up special while talks with NBC were in the works for a new sitcom, Bill Cosby has faced the most pressing scandal of his career. As woman after woman come forward in recent months as alleged sexual assault victims, Cosby’s polished career has taken a drastic nosedive. While the allegations are nothing new, after comedian Hannibal Buress’ bit about Cosby’s rape charges went viral, the dark side of America’s favorite dad has come to light.
“Bill Cosby has the fucking smuggest old black man public persona that I hate, pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom. Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches.“
Each woman recounts similar experiences of Cosby offering them a drink and then being rendered unconscious. While Cosby’s lawyers claim these are “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories”, the comedian himself joked about slipping a substance into women’s drinks called “The Spanish Fly” on his 1969 album ironically named It’s True, It’s True. Throughout the years, Cosby would discuss The Spanish Fly, in one instance, during an airing on Larry King Live in 1991. Below is an excerpt of the transcript from that airing.
COSBY: There’s a thing about Spanish Fly. Do you know anything about Spanish Fly?
KING: When we were kids we used to-
COSBY: There you go. There you go. That’s all. I just wanted the recognition.
COSBY: Spanish Fly.
KING: We knew what it was.
COSBY: Spanish Fly was the thing that all boys from age 11 on up to death — We will still be searching for Spanish Fly.
KING: [laughs] That’s right.
COSBY: And what was the old- The old story was, if you took a little drop — It was on the head of a-
COSBY: -pin! And you put it in a drink-
KING: That’s right. Drop it in her Coca-cola — It don’t matter.
COSBY: It doesn’t make any difference. And the girl would drink it and-
KING: And she’s yours.
COSBY: -‘Hello, America!’ And there’s a story in there about Spanish Fly. So I think that everybody — any guy picking it up will just have a ball reading about that.
Listed below, are names and accounts of the 24 women who have come forward thus far. Wear Your Voice will update as new information is released.
- Lachele Covington
March 2, 2002
A 20 year old actress who had appeared numerous times in non speaking roles on the Cosby Show, Covington files a police report against Cosby for sexual assault after an encounter at his New York home. Covington claims she was visiting him seeking career advice when he took her hand, attempting to place it in his sweatpants.
- Andrea Constand
January 13, 2005
Constand first met Cosby in November 2012, where she was director of operations for the women’s basketball team at his alma matter, Temple University. Upon relocating to Toronto, Constand reported to Canadian authorities of inappropriate touching after meeting him at his Cheltenham, Pennsylvania home. Constand says Cosby provided her with three blue pills, what she believed to be herbal pills to help control her anxiety (Cosby claimed he gave her 1 ½ tablets of Benydryl.) According to Constand, Cosby proceeded to fondle her breasts and digitally penetrate her (placing a finger in the vagina or anus.) Citing a lack of evidence, the DA in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania says Cosby will not face criminal charges. (Note: DA admits to DailyMail Cosby was “probably guilty.”) In March, 2005, Constand files a civil complaint, asking for $150,000 in damages. 13 women are mentioned in court papers as Jane Does who experienced similar encounters with Cosby. The Jane Does never get a chance to come forward as the case is settled outside of court.
- Shawn Upshaw
In an interview with the Nation Enquirer, Upshaw says she had a decades long affair with Cosby since the 70s, and claims he fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson. She recounted an incident in the 70s of Cosby drugging and raping her while she was unconscious.
- Tamara Green
February 10, 2005
At the time, then 57 year old California lawyer came forward on the Today Show as another victim of Cosby during the 70s.
- Beth Ferrier
June 23, 2005
Listed as Jane Doe #5 in Constand’s civil complaint, Ferrier is the latest accuser to go public. Ferrier says during a visit to Cosby’s dressing room during the mid 1980s, Cosby offered her a cappuccino, and immediately began to lose consciousness after consumption. Ferrier next recalls waking up in her car with her clothes in disarray.
- Barbara Bowman
June 9, 2006
Another Jane Doe comes out of hiding-Bowman accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting her on numerous occasions during the 80s after Cosby took the then aspiring actress under his wing. On November 13 of this year, Bowman wrote a personal account of her experience in an op-ed for the Washington Post titled Bill Cosby Raped Me, Why Did it Take 30 Years for Anyone to Believe Me?
- Joan Tarshis
November 16, 2014
In an interview with Hollywood Elsewhere, Tarshis claims Cosby sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions in 1969 when she was then 19. She said to have been drugged at his house after he made them cocktails, falling out of consciousness before waking up on his couch. To avoid rape, she told Cosby she had an STD that he may get and transfer to his wife. According to Tarshis, he forces her to perform oral sex instead.
- Linda Joy Traitz
November 17, 2014
Traitz speaks with the Washington Post, accusing Cosby of becoming “sexually aggressive” with her after offering her a ride home from her job as a waitress at a restaurant he co-owned.
- Janice Dickinson
November 18, 2014
The famous model came forward in an interview on Entertainment Tonight that Cosby raped her in 1982. She reiterated the story on CNN, where she breaks down on air, falling to her knees.
- Therese Serignese
November 20, 2014
Serignese says she was raped by Cosby in a Las Vegas bathroom following one of his performances in 1976.
- Carla Ferrigno
November 20, 2014
The actress says after being invited to his home in 1967, Cosby forced himself upon her. She was able to push herself away and immediately left.
- Louisa Moritz
November 20, 2014
Moritz claims during a taping of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1971, Cosby entered the green room where he forced her to briefly perform oral sex, implying doing so would benefit her career.
- Renita Chaney Hill
November 20, 2014
Cast in Cosby’s education series “Picture Pages” at 15, Hill says Cosby insisted she drink alcohol although she was underage. She recounted numerous times of not recalling where she was or how she got there after sharing drinks with the comedian.
- Angela Leslie
November 21, 2014
In an interview with the New York Daily News, the actress asserts that Cosby forced her to grope his penis in 1992 while he was in Las Vegas.
- Kristina Ruehli
November 21, 2014
Another Jane Doe comes forward. Ruehli says she met Cosby in 1965 at the age of 22 while working as a secretary at a talent agency. Ruehli accuses Cosby of sexual assult after inviting her to a party, where only the two of them were present, drugging her, attempting to force oral copulation. He stopped after she became physically ill.
- Michelle Hurd
November 21, 2014
The actress featured in The Cosby Show, Law and Order SVU and Gossip girl posted her experience with Cosby on social media:
LOOK, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t believe some of the things i’ve been reading, SO here is MY personal experience:
I did stand-in work on The Cosby show back in the day and YES, Bill Cosby was VERY inappropriate with me. It started innocently, lunch in his dressing room, daily, then onto weird acting exercises were he would move his hands up and down my body, (can’t believe I fell for that) I was instructed to NEVER tell anyone what we did together, (he said other actors would become jealous) and then fortunately, I dodged the ultimate bullet with him when he asked me to come to his house, take a shower so we could blow dry my hair and see what it looked like straightened. At that point my own red flags went off and I told him,
“No, I’ll just come to work tomorrow with my hair straightened”.
I then started to take notice and found another actress, a stand-in as well, and we started talking….. A LOT …. turns out he was doing the same thing to her, almost by the numbers, BUT, she did go to his house and because I will not name her, and it is her story to tell, all I’ll say is she awoke, after being drugged, vomited, and then Cosby told her there’s a cab waiting for you outside.
I have ABSOLUTELY no reason to lie or make up this up!
Anyone that knows me, knows that!
Now you have a first hand account of my experience with Mr. Cosby.
Off you go…
- Victoria Valentino
November 22, 2014
While a Playboy Playmate during the 70s, Valentino claims Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him after a dinner outing with her and a friend.
- Jewel Allison
November 24, 2014
After being invited to Cosby’s brownstone in New York during the 80s, Allison told the New York Daily News she was was drugged and sexually assaulted after accepting a glass of wine from Cosby.
- Donna Motsinger
November 26, 2014
Jane Doe #8, Motsinger alleges Cosby drugged and raped her in 1971 following an encounter at a California jazz club.
- Judy Huth
December 2, 2014
Huth claims when she was just 15 years old in 1974, Cosby forced her to grope his penis.
- Helen Hayes
December 3, 2014
During a press conference, Hayes says Cosby stalked her and friends in 1973 at Clint Eastwood’s Celebrity Tennis Tournament, where he approached her in a restaurant and groped her breast.
December 3, 2014
During the same press conference, Chelan accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting and drugging her .
- P.J. Masten
December 6, 2014
Masten told the NY Daily News Cosby attacked her in 1979. She says Cosby raped her in his Chicago hotel room after she went unconscious from consuming a spiked drink.
- Beverly Johnson
December 11, 2014
In an essay she wrote for Vanity Fair, Johnson, the former supermodel, accuses Cosby of drugging her at his New York home during the mid 80s. She says after realizing she had been drugged, Johnson began yelling expletives at him. Angered, Cosby forcefully dragged her down the stairs, flagging down a taxi.
Featured Photo Credit: Flickr user smysnbrg via Creative Commons