Another woman has come out as having been raped by Bill Cosby. America’s Next Top Model’s Janice Dickinson went on Entertainment Tonight to tell the story of her 1982 encounter, in which Cosby promised a job, and instead drugged and assaulted her. A common thread in these testimonials is that Cosby not only raped women, but he used his power, his fame as a lure for much younger women. This is in no way unique to Cosby. We see again and again the abuse of the power we, as fans, give to celebrities, and it’s absolutely disgusting, both on the part of the celebrities as well as those who continue to defend them out of admiration.
It’s not mentioned in this video, but Dickinson told ET that she initially included this story in her 2002 autobiography, but Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and her publishers to remove it.
The question that always comes up in response to this kind of testimonial is, of course “why now?” Why did it take so long? Why didn’t she just go to the police? As if filing rape charges against anyone, let alone an enormously famous and influential man (especially when the victim knowingly took drugs and alcohol from her attacker) is just as easy as filing a report after having your purse stolen. Yes, it’s terrible that it took so many decades for all these stories to come out, and it’s even worse that it had to take a man’s voice to make the women heard. But Bill Cosby is not even close to being the only man to abuse his power in this way, and I have to believe that every story told helps, even just a tiny bit, in changing what we, as a collective society, allow our celebrity idols to get away with.