Supermodel Beverly Johnson calls Bill Cosby a "fallen hero" in a first-person essay

By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 27, 2018 05:09 PM

Supermodel Beverly Johnson, who came forward in 2014 to claim she was drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby, has penned a first person essay following the entertainer’s Thursday conviction for sexual assault.

“When I heard yesterday, April 26, 2018, the three guilty verdicts in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial, I felt an unexpected and deep sense of sadness; not because of the verdict that was handed down — he is guilty — but because of the carnage left in the wake of his horrific acts,” Johnson writes in Vanity Fair.

Cosby was found guilty of of three counts of aggravated indecent assault by a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. jury.

Cosby assaulted Andrea Constand, 45, in his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004. The defense claimed that the sexual contact was consensual.

The guilty verdicts — after years of mounting sexual assault and misconduct accusations from dozens of women, many of them remarkably similar and all of them denied by Cosby — upend his formerly iconic career in comedy and TV.

“Cosby was a genuine hero in black culture, like no other in the entertainment landscape. He rose to the highest levels that had ever been achieved in American culture and entertainment by a black person,” Johnson writes.

Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty
The Cosby Show cast
Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank

Long before The Cosby Show went off the air in 1992, the entertainer was considered a television legend.

“For the first time, a black character was an American dad in an American family with American problems. And for over a decade, the black community saw a family on TV that looked largely like us,” Johnson writes in her essay.

Billy Cosby
Matt Rourke-Pool/Getty

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“Because of the courage of Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby has finally been brought to justice by one of his victims, with support of the other victims and the #MeToo women’s movement. The other large issue here is the violation of trust by Cosby and the betrayal to generations of Americans who hung their hopes on his trajectory and the sense of a better future for all of us,” Johnson writes. “Thankfully, our world is changing, even with the profound disappointment of a fallen hero. Shame on him.”

Constand testified that she took three blue pills and drank wine at Cosby’s request. She passed out, and then woke up to find Cosby sexually assaulting her, The New York Times reports.

“I was kind of jolted awake and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully, and I felt my breast being touched,” Constand testified, according to the paper. “I was limp, and I could not fight him off.”

Cosby, who did not testify during his trial, denies similar allegations from more than 60 women.

His lawyer has said Cosby plans to appeal.

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