If a famous man once tried to drug you, would you tell? Even for the famous model Beverly Johnson, opening up about Bill Cosby drugging her took her many years. Now she's doing it. It was hard for her, but we can all learn a thing or two about why she decided it was important to do.
As of December 2014, there have been 19 public rape and sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby.
Some of the sexual assault allegations had already happened years before, but they were forgotten until these allegations slowly crept back into the media. In October 2014, comedian Hannibal Buress made a reference to the allegations in a skit — a skit that went viral.
Slowly, the momentum around the allegations built, and many women came forward using their real names and alleging Cosby had assaulted them.
And then a big-name model came forward with an allegation — but it wasn't sexual assault.
On Dec. 11, 2014, model Beverly Johnson wrote an essay in Vanity Fair, saying that Cosby drugged her.
In case you don't know, in 1974, Johnson was American Vogue's first black cover model. She became huge in the fashion world for breaking boundaries for black models.
Johnson begins the essay by talking about she got on "The Cosby Show."
About 10 years after Johnson's big break as a model, an agent called her and said Cosby wanted her to try out for his show. "The Cosby Show" was *huge*, and Johnson was having a hard time financially, so taking up the opportunity was a no-brainer.
One day, Cosby invited her back to his place.
"Cosby suggested I come back to his house a few days later to read for the part. I agreed, and one late afternoon the following week I returned. His staff served a light dinner and Bill and I talked more about my plans for the future."
At one point, Cosby served her an espresso, which made Johnson lose her bearings.
Fortunately, Johnson realized she must have been drugged, and she made sure Cosby knew.
"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."
Johnson threw several expletives at Cosby, calling him a "motherf*cker" and yelling at him.
Cosby ended up kicking her out of his house.
According to her account, Johnson says that Cosby became angered by her yelling at him and brusquely took her downstairs and pushed her outside, where she was somehow able to find a cab, despite eventually blacking out and, according to the essay, having no account of how she got home.
Johnson was so afraid to tell anyone about what happened — even over 30 years later.
She had initially blamed herself for what happened, and then after the number of public allegations by women, she realized she was one of many who seemed to have been targeted — even if she was fortunate enough to not have been the victim of a sexual assault.
"Would they dismiss me as an angry black woman intent on ruining the image of one of the most revered men in the African American community over the last 40 years? ...
As I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of the day Bill Cosby drugged me with the intention of doing God knows what, the faces of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other brown and black men took residence in my mind."
Finally, she explains why she decided to open up about being drugged.
Take heed at her words. They are powerful and important. Hopefully, we can all learn from them.