Bill Cosby's Been Facing Many Rape Accusations. Now A Model Comes Forward About How He Drugged Her.

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 skita 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.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

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Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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