More than a dozen women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting or molesting them in the past shared their stories in a television program that aired Thursday night, describing the alleged assaults in sometimes graphic terms.
In an hour-long special on A&E, "Cosby: The Women Speak," some of the stories had similarities. Some said they were offered acting coaching or mentoring, persuaded to take a drink, and then felt dizzy and woozy minutes later — and believe they were drugged.
Heidi Thomas, who is one of several women suing Cosby, said the comedian invited her to Reno, Nevada, in 1984 when she was 24 years old, ostensibly for acting coaching. She said she was asked to read a script in which her character was intoxicated.
"I do remember him saying, Heidi, have you ever been drunk? And I said, no, not really. And he said ‘Well, how do you expect to play a role like this?" Thomas said. "So he poured a glass and he said all right this is your prop, you’re gonna sip on your wine. And I literally — I don’t remember anything other than one sip."
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them years ago. Cosby has never been charged with a crime, and Cosby and his representatives have repeatedly denied the allegations.
Other women said on the program that they felt woozy after a single sip of alcohol or cappuccino. One described the feeling "like being under anesthesia." Ex-Playboy playmate Victoria Valentino said Cosby gave her a pill at dinner and later forced her to perform a sex act and had sex with her when she could barely walk or talk in 1969.
"If there is any question about why women don’t report rape, is because it's so damned humiliating, you don’t want to ever talk about it again," she said.
In August, a judge ruled that Cosby must answer questions under oath in a lawsuit brought by a woman who accused him of molesting her in the 1970s, when she was 15 years old.
A deposition conducted in 2005, and parts of which were released earlier this year, contained an admission from Cosby thathe obtained Quaaludeswith the intent of using them to have sex with women.
Cosby did not appear on the A&E program. Joseph Phillips, who appeared on "The Cosby Show," was interviewed and said "I didn't witness anything," but added that he felt that something unusual might be going on.
Phillips at first didn't believe the recent allegations, but a friend, who has not yet come forward, confided that she was assaulted, according to the program. "She says, do you believe me? And I say, 'Yes, I believe you," Phillips said.