The mother of a female witness who testified Monday that Bill Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her testified Tuesday that her daughter was depressed and anxious after the comedian allegedly “intimidated” her into taking a drug at the Bel-Air Hotel in 1996.
“She changed considerably…[She became] Anxious. Depressed. Sad,” Dr. Patrice Sewell, a retired educator, said of her daughter, Kelly Johnson, who testified Monday that Cosby allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her when she was the assistant of his agent at the William Morris talent agency.
“She folded down on herself,” Sewell said, her voice shaking with emotion as she fought off tears. “Her circle of friends became narrower. She’d go to work, she’d come home. She had very little social life. Her self esteem was really damaged. She lost her ability to take risks with friendships. Being around a lot of people made her uncomfortable.”
Sewell said her husband, a Los Angeles police detective, did not want his daughter to go to the police with her allegations of being drugged.
“Her father didn’t want her to be humiliated and feel shame and embarrassment as he’d said other women go through when they went to the police at that time,” Sewell said as she began crying.
Initially, according to Sewell, she and her husband were only under the impression that their daughter had been drugged. It wasn’t until years later, Sewell says, that she learned that Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted Johnson as well, forcing her to touch his genitals, she said.
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“I didn’t know until much, much later that wasn’t all of the story; that she’d told her sister more details,” she said. “But I told her sister I didn’t want to know.”
Johnson testified Monday that, after overhearing a conversation between her boss and Cosby after the alleged drugging and sexual assault, she feared she’d be fired. She filed a workman’s compensation claim against William Morris and was later fired.
Defense attorneys quickly tried to poke holes in Johnson’s story by suggesting she was distraught over being unhappy working for Cosby’s agent at the time and not over what she said Cosby did to her. They also claimed Jonshon had previously gotten in trouble for socializing with clients, one of whom was the father of her son.
“Was she put on leave for having been socializing and having a child with a William Morris client?” defense attorney Angela Agrusa asked.
Cosby, 79, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, now 44, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion in January 2004. Cosby has pleaded not guilty to the charges, insisting their sexual contact was consensual, and has denied similar allegations from more than 60 women.
Johnson came forward with her story in January 2015. Prosecutors had sought to have 13 women with similar tales as witnesses at trial but Judge Steven T. O’Neill only allowed Johnson’s testimony in addition to Constand’s.
Cosby appeared to be paying close attention to Sewell’s testimony, leaning forward in his seat and facing toward her.
While on Monday he arrived in court with Keshia Knight Pulliam, who played his daughter, Rudy, on The Cosby Show, on Tuesday Cosby waked in with his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, and his attorneys.
His wife, Camille, is supposed to attend the trial at some point, Wyatt told PEOPLE, but she has not shown up yet.
Lili Bernard, a former Cosby Show actress who has also accused Cosby of sexual assault, showed up in court in support of Constand. Bernard wore a button saying, “We Stand in Truth.”
Johnson testified that, after the alleged drugging and sexual assault by Cosby, she overheard a phone conversation he had with her boss.
“I heard [Mr. Cosby] say, ‘She’s always away from her desk,’ ” she says. “She’s messing up her work. … She’s a problem. This is a problem. You need to get rid of the problem.’ “
Johnson said she called her mom, who told her to go to the human resources department, which she did. Sewell corroborated Johnson’s account in court Tuesday. Johnson filed the workman’s comp claim and was later terminated, she testified.
Joseph Miller, who represented William Morris at the time, said they settled the claim with a lump sum.
Miller said Johnson said in a deposition what Cosby allegedly did to her at the Bel-Air Hotel, but he said Johnson said it happened in 1990.
“Ms. Johnson said that Mr. Cosby …had given her a pill to take and some wine to drink or some sort of alcohol,” Miller testified. “And that she’d gotten semi-conscious because of whatever she had taken. And that … he had taken out his penis and put lubricant on his penis and wanted her to fondle him and she didn’t want to do that.”
Miller said she “cried several times” during the deposition.
“I think she was fearful,” Miller said.
He said Johnson told him she went to Cosby’s home another time, after the alleged assault at the Bel-Air Hotel, in January 1996.
“He did some very odd things like trying to direct her in a mock film,” he said. “He was trying to portray herself as a theatrical movie director.”
He said there was no transcript from the deposition.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the testimony … Mr. Rosenstein and I agreed the deposition transcript would not be prepared,” Miller testified. “And it was our belief that we either settle the case or talk about settling.”
The court adjourned for lunch after Canadian detective Dave Mason testifying about Constand’s initial report to police in January 2005.