The headline of today’s Washington Post first-person essay by Barbara Bowman dramatically sums up what is to follow: “Bill Cosby Raped Me. Why Did It Take 30 Years for People to Believe My Story?”
Bowman writes that given the amount of attention she has been able to bring to her accusations over the past ten years, she is puzzled it took the fall 2014 cry of a male stand-up comedian for the world to finally take notice. Her allegations are damning:
Over the years, I’ve struggled to get people to take my story seriously. So last month, when reporter Lycia Naff contacted me for an interview for the Daily Mail, I gave her a detailed account. I told her how Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure and then assaulted me multiple times. In one case, I blacked out after having dinner and one glass of wine at his New York City brownstone, where he had offered to mentor me and discuss the entertainment industry.
Bowman’s participation in a 2004-2006 sexual assault case brought against Cosby by another woman led to coverage and interviews in Philadelphia magazine, KYW-TV and People. She also did an interview with Newsweek earlier this year.
Per a footnote at the bottom of the essay, representatives for the Post made several attempts, without success, to get comment from a representative for the 77-year-old Cosby. Bowman now lives in Scottsdale.
Reader comments are flying in at a furious pace, in some cases overlooking the fact that Bowman was willing to testify under oath about what she writes about in the Post:
arobbins56: Wow, the Washington Post has reached a new low. Is this paper so irrelevant that it allows people to write their own articles and post them? My god. If he did it or not I am not questioning that; but to allow someone to attack someone else on this platform is awful!!! I have zero respect for this entire post.
kaasmaster: Those of you harping about the fact that this article contains no real evidence are barking up the wrong tree. This is not a “news story,” it is a “testimonial” and therefore doesn’t require the same jounralistic standards as an actual “news story.” There is no journalistic obligation to prove the claims to be factual. Bowman is not a journalist, she is a private citizen giving her version of events.
emncaity: I don’t understand how a publication like WP publishes something like this without being possibly complicit in defamation. If Cosby did these things, he should be arrested and tried. If he didn’t, he’s being put in the position of having to prove his innocence – essentially, to prove a negative, and to do it in the face of a public that largely sees itself as needing to “support victims” (without the fact of victimhood ever being proven in the first place).
Update (November 14):
Bowman spoke with CNN’s Don Lemon about the above. Watch the video here.
Update (November 17):
Another woman, Joan Tarshis, has come forward with similar Cosby accusations, sharing the details publicly for the first time via Hollywood Elsewhere:
“…I remember feeling very, very stoned and asking Cosby’s 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 [Netherland Hotel], 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.’
[September 2014 photo of Cosby: Randy Miramontez/WireImage.com]