Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson are just two of the dozens of Bill Cosby accusers whose stories were doubted by naysayers, but now that his 2005 deposition has been made public, they are feeling more than a little vindicated.
Johnson, a supermodel who was the first black woman to cover Vogue and had everything to lose and nothing to gain from coming forward, said the reflex to cast doubt on a woman’s accusations because of her gender is sad.
“It is unfortunate the amount of proof required to make a woman’s voice valid,” Johnson told People.
“In the past year of this conversation around Bill Cosby’s actions against many women, including myself, the most unfortunate thing is the lesson we are teaching children about the worth of a woman’s body,” she continued. “I don’t know if every woman who has been sexually attacked and comes forward will be one of the many — or one who stands on her own. But as this conversation on Cosby’s actions continues, I hope that anyone with kids is thinking of teaching them that no one has the right to another’s body or sexuality.
“Not every attacker is going to be someone who is lurking in the alley or an unattractive character. It is as likely that someone who is charismatic and successful will decide to do something heinous.
“We must ask ourselves if the lesson we want to teach our kids is that, again, a woman’s voice and body are not valuable or precious or valid,” Johnson said. “I know my truth, and I hope for a society that is sensitive to the protection of women, regardless of the stakes. I hope, as we live in a time in our nation where conversations on race, sexuality and gender are at hand, that we have the difficult conversations with our friends and family so that it is commonplace to defend everyone’s right to be protected from all predators, no matter their status or accomplishments.”
“I hope that the lesson is that rape and any form of sexual assault is wrong, that silencing women’s voices is wrong and that protecting a predator over the assaulted for the sake of protecting power is devastating.”
Incredibly powerful and wise words.
Dickinson had a response that was more emotional but no less impactful — and she had some harsh words for Whoopi Goldberg after The View host continued her support of the fallen comedian.
“I would like an apology for each and every one of us [Cosby’s accusers] in order for my soul to feel. I don’t feel any ‘hip-hip hoorays,'” Dickinson told Entertainment Tonight.
“What is wrong with you, Whoopi Goldberg? What more does it take? You need to be fired,’ she ranted. “How dare you sit there on The View? You need to be fired, you stupid woman. That is ridiculous.”