Model Beverly Johnson has become the latest woman to speak out publicly against Bill Cosby, telling Vanity Fair the comedian tried to drug her in the mid-'80s. Johnson, the first black woman to appear on the cover of U.S. Vogue, met Cosby while trying out for a small part on The Cosby Show. What she claims happened next follows a familiar pattern: Cosby invited her to his house, where he gave her career advice and asked her if she could act drunk. (The role she was auditioning for was that of a pregnant woman.) He then insisted she drink a cappuccino from his home espresso machine. She says she knew it was drugged within two sips.
"As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic-survival mode," Johnson writes. "That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment." She remembers repeatedly calling the comedian "a motherfucker," until he dragged her out of his house and hailed her a cab.
Johnson says she kept quiet about the incident not only because she feared incurring Cosby's wrath, but also because she didn't want to tear down a prominent black role model. "Black men have enough enemies out there already," she remembers telling herself, "they certainly don’t need someone like you ... fanning the flames." But now, after more than a dozen women have come forward with similar stories, Johnson says she realized her qualms were misfounded: "The current attack on African-American men has absolutely nothing at all to do with Bill Cosby. He brought this on himself."