The Evolution of the Bill Cosby Scandal
THE FALL OF BILL COSBY
Recent allegations of sexual abuse have shattered the public image of comedy legend Bill Cosby. While the scandal exploded only recently, the first accusations go back almost a decade. Cosby's lawyer Martin Singer blasts the new claims as "unsubstantiated [and] fantastical" and notes that none of the recent accusers ever filed legal claims against Cosby. But many of the women have told their stories to PEOPLE and remain resolute in their accusations.
When the Temple University basketball staffer met Cosby in 2002, "she considered it to be more of a grandfatherly relationship. This was a man she trusted," her lawyer told PEOPLE in 2005. Constand told police the actor drugged and forced her to touch him intimately at his Pennsylvania home in 2004, according to a police report. Cosby’s lawyer called the claim "preposterous"; the district attorney, citing "insufficient credible and admissible evidence," decided not to press criminal charges, and her civil lawsuit against Cosby was settled out of court. The terms have never been disclosed.
"[I thought,] 'Who’s gonna believe this?' He was like the President," the Arizona ex-model told PEOPLE in 2006. Bowman claims Cosby assaulted her three times in the '80s. She was one of 12 "Jane Doe" witnesses in Constand’s case, but she revealed her name in 2005.
After drinking a cappuccino in Cosby's dressing room in the mid '80s, Ferrier claims she blacked out. "I woke up in my car ... with my clothes all a mess," the ex-model told PEOPLE in 2006. Still, she says, she entered an on-and-off consensual affair with Cosby for several years: "He kept luring me in."
The single mother of three says Cosby offered her Quaaludes and raped her after inviting her backstage at one of his shows in Las Vegas when she was just 19.a"I felt powerless," Serignese – whoarevealed she was Constand’s Jane Doe No. 10a–atold PEOPLE.
“I feel energies are changing," Thompson, one of the former Jane Does (pictured at right, with her family in 2013) told PEOPLE of shifting perceptions of Cosby, whom she claims pressured her into masturbating him in the late '80s. "I’ve been breaking into spontaneous cheers of joy."
"He was very charming. Kinda quiet," the former publicist and journalist told PEOPLE. Tarshis claims Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his bungalow on the set of The Bill Cosby Show in 1969. "I said, 'What’s going on?' He said, 'You know what’s going on.'"
The One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest actress told TMZ that Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him backstage at Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. In a statement to PEOPLE, Cosby’s lawyer countered that the two were never on the Tonight Show together and that she "fabricated her story."
The former model and actress alleges that Cosby invited her to his Las Vegas hotel room in the early '90s for an audition that ended with him forcing her to masturbate him. "I felt used," Leslie told PEOPLE, explaining that Cosby made her a drink that she only took a sip of.
"It's going to be a while before a woman thinks about going somewhere with him alone," said the former Jane Doe, who claims Cosby drugged and tried to assault her when she was a secretary in 1965. "So maybe it stops."
RENITA CHANEY HILL
The former model and onetime aspiring actress said she met Cosby on the set of one of his educational TV segments and alleges the comedy legend drugged and sexually abused her multiple times beginning when she was just 15. "No one wants to be associated with something like this," she told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. "But the bottom line for me is that no one has the right to violate someone else, no matter who they are. I don't care how big they are or how the community sees them, it's not right."
The former Playboy Playmate alleges that Cosby assaulted her in 1970, shortly after putting "a pill" in her mouth. "He came over to me and sat down on the love seat and opened his fly and grabbed my head and pushed my head down," she told The Washington Post. "And then he turned me over. It was like a waking nightmare."
The former comedy club manager – who worked with the likes of Jay Leno, Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld – has come forward with claims that Cosby gave her a "white pill" after she complained of a headache, and she woke up naked 11 hours later in bed with one of his friends. "The reason I didn't come out with this story earlier is because my son knew Bill and I didn't want to disillusion him," Emmons told PEOPLE of the incident that she says happened in 1979 or 1980.
The former model claims Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her while she was over at his New York brownstone for dinner in the late 1980s. "There's no such thing as America’s Dad," Allison told the Daily News. "There's just a man named Bill Cosby. He's a very sick sociopath."
The most well-known among Cosby's accusers, the '70s supermodel accused the comedian of drugging her at his New York City brownstone in the mid-1980s, according to an essay she wrote on VanityFair.com. She'd gone there to run lines before an audition on The Cosby Show. After taking a few sips of an espresso he insisted she drink, Johnson said, "My head became woozy, my speech became slurred, and the room began to spin nonstop." When Cosby put his hands around her waist, Johnson says she started hurling insults and him like, "You are a motherf–er aren't you?" He reportedly became infuriated, dragged her downstairs and sent her home in a cab. She left without being sexually assaulted.
The former bartender claims Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in a house owned by the Reno casino where she was working in May of 1982. The then-24-year-old was offered two pills by Cosby – "I thought it must be okay. Bill Cosby said it was," she recalled – and remembers the comedian bringing her upstairs to the bedroom after she woke up on the couch with her jeans unzipped and her blouse opened.
In 1975, when Tate was a 27-year-old model with the Wilhelmina agency, Cosby allegedly offered to show her around the Playboy Mansion in Chicago. "Mr. Cosby brought me a drink and that was my last clear memory," she said. "The next cloudy memory I have is that I was in a different room. I was in bed. Bill Cosby was next to me and it didn't appear he was wearing anything."
Burns was a 20-year-old game starter at Las Vegas's Sahara Hotel amp Casino and a fashion model in the early 1970s, when she claims Cosby sexually assaulted her. He allegedly gave her $500 to gamble with and invited her up to his suite, where he made her a scotch on the rocks. "I felt woozy and he asked me to come into the bedroom," she said.
At a May 1, 2015, press conference, the actress, who appeared in an episode of the final season of The Cosby Show, stated that Cosby drugged and raped her in 1992. According to Bernard, after the attack Cosby said, "As far as I'm concerned, Bernard, you're dead. Do you hear me? You're dead, Bernard. You don't exist, I never wanna see your face again."
Mays also stepped forward at the May 1, 2015, press conference, saying she met the comedian while covering the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in the mid-'80s. She invited him to her hotel room for an interview, and after two swigs of a drink he mixed for her, "the next thing I remember when I awoke from my state of unconsciousness, I seemed to have been drooling and was sloppily slouched in the chair with barely the edge of my bottom in it."
The actor and philanthropist has seen reruns of his sitcom taken off the air and new projects ad scheduled appearances canceled in the wake of the recent firestorm of accusations. Cosby has declined to comment on the allegations, but he told Florida Today, "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos." Despite his comments, additional women – including Judy Huth, Helen Hayes and Chloe Goins; more than 40 in total – continue to come forward with claims of being sexually abused by the man once thought of as "America's Dad." And in July 2015, it was revealed through unsealed court documents that in 2005, Cosby admitted to giving at least one woman Quaaludes before having sex with her, and to having prescriptions for Quaaludes and keeping them in his possession through the 2000s.