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A detailed guide to the allegations against Bill Cosby

At least a dozen women have come forward to accuse the comic of assaulting them.


Audra Schroeder


EJ Dickson


Posted on Nov 24, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 3:44 am CDT

It has not been a good month for Bill Cosby. Over the past few weeks, the 77-year-old comedian has faced a slew of sexual assault allegations, with at least 12 different women coming forward and accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting them. In the wake of these allegations and the public backlash against Cosby, both Netflix and NBC have canceled projects featuring Cosby, and his social media team’s attempts to “meme” the actor spectacularly backfired.

Although public opinion of the Cosby Show star is at an all-time low, there’s nothing new about the allegations against him, which have been swirling around the actor for years. In 2006, for example, a former Temple University staff member filed a civil suit against him, which alleged that the actor assaulted her at his home. (The suit was eventually settled out of court.)

But it took a Washington Post op-ed by one of Cosby’s accusers to truly bring the allegations against him to light. Since former actress and model Barbara Bowman’s piece was published Nov. 13, more than a dozen women have come forward, claiming that the actor drugged, groped, and sexually assaulted them—allegations that Cosby has long refused to address, though he did dance around the issue during a show in Florida on Nov. 21.

Considering how many women have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby, and how far back his alleged history of assaulting women extends, we’ve compiled a detailed guide to the allegations against him.

Andrea Constand

Constand, who was the director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball program when she met Cosby in 2002, alleges that in January 2004 she was invited to his Pennsylvania home, offered three herbal pills to help her “relax,” and subsequently assaulted. (Cosby is a trustee at Temple and will apparently remain one.) She filed a civil lawsuit against him in 2005. Former Montgomery County district attorney Bruce Castor declined to press charges at the time, citing lack of evidence.

In November 2006, the suit was settled out of court. Though Constand knew of other women alleging Cosby sexually assaulted them (13 “Jane Doe” accusers at the time), because the suit was settled out of court, they were not called to testify. Constand is to date the only accuser to seek out criminal charges against Cosby.

Tamara Green

One of the named accusers in Constand’s suit, Green spoke to the Today Show’s Matt Lauer in 2005 about allegedly being drugged and assaulted by Cosby in the ’70s, while she was having a “working lunch” with the comic in L.A. Green claimed she had the flu during the lunch, and Cosby offered her the cold and flu medicine Contac to alleviate her symptoms. After the cold medicine took effect, Cosby offered to take her home, where he allegedly assaulted her.

When asked why she didn’t come forward sooner, Green, now a lawyer in California, replied:

“Well, let me tell you, and I understand this about the current victim. The first thing you feel is stupid, and then you feel that no one will believe you. This is the great Bill Cosby, he has tremendous wealth, power, a P.R. machine, a reputation, he is Mr. Jell-O, but the worst thing you feel is stupid. There’s a shame element involved.”

Beth Ferrier

The former model, who had an on-again, off-again relationship with Cosby for several years, came forward with allegations that the comic had assaulted her way back in 2006, in an interview with People magazine. Ferrier says that Cosby took her under his wing as a father figure and “mentor” shortly after they met through a friend in the ’80s. She alleges that one night in his dressing room, Cosby dosed her cup of coffee with an unknown substance, causing her to pass out.

“I woke up in my car in the parking lot with my clothes all a mess,” she told People in 2006. “It’s one of the pieces that keeps bothering me. I was definitely drugged. All I had to drink was coffee and the room was spinning. Then I wake up with my clothes a mess and my bra unhooked.”

When Ferrier asked Cosby what had happened, he allegedly told her never to bring it up again.

Barbara Bowman

A former actress and model, Bowman sparked the latest wave of allegations against Cosby on Nov. 13, when the Washington Post published her story of having been drugged and assaulted by the comic several times in the ’80s. She also referenced Hannibal Buress’s standup routine, in which the comedian publicly discussed the allegations against Cosby during a set in late October. In her piece, Bowman explains that she was called to testify in the 2004 lawsuit filed by Constand:

“In 2004, when Andrea Constand filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby for sexual assault, her lawyers asked me to testify. Cosby had drugged and raped me, too, I told them. The lawyers said I could testify anonymously as a Jane Doe, but I ardently rejected that idea. My name is not Jane Doe. My name is Barbara Bowman, and I wanted to tell my story in court. In the end, I didn’t have the opportunity to do that, because Cosby settled the suit for an undisclosed amount of money.”

Shortly before Bowman’s Washington Post piece published, Cosby’s social media team attempted to launch a Twitter meme, which failed miserably. In an NPR interview from Nov. 15, Cosby refused to address Bowman’s allegations.

Joan Tarshis

Tarshis alleges Cosby assaulted her when she was a 19-year-old aspiring comedy writer. They struck up a friendship, and Cosby invited her to his house and supplied her with “Red Eyes,” Bloody Marys mixed with beer. She told People magazine she passed out, and when she came to, Cosby was allegedly removing her underwear. She claimed she had an STD in an effort to fend him off, so she says he forced her to perform oral sex on him instead.

In a Nov. 18 interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, the host asked Tarshis why she didn’t bite Cosby’s penis in self-defense.

Janice Dickinson

In an exclusive interview with ET, the former supermodel revealed on Nov. 18 that Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted her in 1982, when she visited him in Lake Tahoe. Dickinson had just gotten out of rehab, and Cosby allegedly reached out to her with a job offer. He offered her a pill for menstrual cramps and a glass of red wine, and she recounted what happened next:

“The next morning I woke up, and I wasn’t wearing my pajamas, and I remember before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she tells ET. “… Before I woke up in the morning, the last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. And I remember a lot of pain.”

On Nov. 21, TMZ published a photo of Cosby in said robe, allegedly taken by Dickinson the night of the incident. She added that she attempted to write about the incident in a 2002 memoir, but that Cosby’s lawyers pressured her to remove the passage.

Linda Joy Traitz

In a lengthy Nov. 18 Facebook post, Traitz, a former waitress, recounted meeting Cosby at the restaurant where she worked in the early ’70s. One day, she says, she accepted a ride home from the comic, who drove her to the beach and presented her with a briefcase “with pills and tablets in it, different colors arranged and assorted into compartments,” Traitz told the Washington Post. “He offered me pills and said it would help me to relax.”

When Traitz refused, she says Cosby allegedly “lunged” at her, grabbing her chest and “grabbing me in the front all over.” She managed to break free from Cosby, tearing her skirt in the process.

A recovering prescription pill addict, Traitz has a history of criminal behavior, with charges ranging from ID fraud to battery to trafficking of a controlled substance. She served a five-year prison sentence for the latter charge, and was released in 2012. She says she was initially hesitant to share her story, because she knew “there will be people who are going to say, ‘You have a drug problem. Why should we believe you?’” she told the Washington Post.

In a statement to TMZ, Cosby’s lawyer Marty Singer attacked Traitz’s credibility on those grounds, referring to her claims of a briefcase full of drugs as “absurd.” 

Therese Serignese

Serignese, a nurse living in Florida, also claims Cosby drugged and assaulted her in the ’70s. She told her story to West Palm Beach news station WPTV on Nov. 19, claiming she met Cosby in Las Vegas when she was 19. He invited her to his show, then to an afterparty, where he offered her pills and then allegedly assaulted her in the bathroom. Though she admits she continued to have contact with Cosby and received financial support from him after the assault, she’s now urging him to “quit lying and denying” the allegations.

Carla Ferrigno

On Nov. 19, Ferrigno, the wife of former wrestler and Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, alleged that Cosby assaulted her in 1969, during a double date at his Hollywood home. At one point, while Cosby was alone with Ferrigno, “he walked over to me and grabbed me and pulled me really tight to him, kissing me in the mouth really, really rough,” Ferrigno told radio station KFI AM 640. She kept quiet for years, she says, because “people don’t believe” female sexual assault victims.

Angela Leslie

On Nov. 20, the former model and actress told the New York Daily News that she was assaulted by Cosby in a Las Vegas hotel suite in 1992. According to her account, Cosby invited her to his suite, fixed her an alcoholic beverage, and asked her to drink it and pretend she was intoxicated as a sort of impromptu audition for a film role.

After Leslie refused to drink the beverage, Cosby allegedly forced her to put her hand on his penis before he ejected her from his hotel room. “I didn’t drink the alcohol, and maybe since I didn’t pass out, he decided to get rid of me,” Leslie told the Daily News.

Louisa Moritz

The 68-year-old actress, who played Rose in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, told TMZ on Nov. 20 that Cosby attempted to stick his penis in her mouth in the greenroom for The Tonight Show when they both appeared on the show in 1971. She claims Cosby “took his hands and put them on the back of my head and forced his penis in my mouth, saying, ‘Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.'” When she turned down his advances, he allegedly threatened to ruin her career, a common theme in the sexual assault allegations against Cosby.

Renita Chaney Hill

The 47-year-old former model and actress alleges she was assaulted by Cosby back in the ’80s, when she was 15 and appearing in his educational TV series Picture Pages. During their four-and-a-half-year affair, Hill says Cosby plied her with alcohol, and that she would wake up in the morning with no memory of what had transpired the night before.

“I remember being in high school saying to him, ‘I’ll come see you, but I don’t want to drink because it makes me feel funny,’” Hill told KDKA CBS News Pittsburgh Nov. 20. “And he would tell me that if I didn’t drink, I couldn’t come see him.” 

Michelle Hurd

The Law & Order actress posted on Facebook Nov. 20, detailing her “personal experience” with Cosby when she was a stand-in actress on The Cosby Show. She describes uncomfortable encounters in his dressing room, and that she “was instructed to NEVER tell anyone what we did together.” When he invited her over to his house to shower and blow dry her hair, to “see what it looked like straightened,” she declined. 

She also claims she spoke with another actress who did visit Cosby’s house, and described the same pattern of waking up and realizing she’d been drugged. She did not name the actress, because “it is her story to tell.” 

Joyce Emmons

Emmons told TMZ on Nov. 22 that when she was running comedy clubs in the ’70s and ’80s, she associated with Cosby, and noted that he often had a “drawer full of drugs,” though she never saw him partake. One night, he allegedly offered her one such pill for a migraine. She claims she blacked out and woke up nude in Cosby’s hotel room. He claimed it was “just a Quaalude.” 

Victoria Valentino

A former Playboy Playmate, Valentino came forward in a lengthy Washington Post piece published Nov. 22. Valentino alleges that Cosby sexually assaulted her in the ’70s, when she and a friend met him for dinner in Hollywood. According to Valentino, Cosby offered the women red pills, saying it would make them “feel better,” before driving them to an apartment in the Hollywood Hills, where Valentino alleges Cosby assaulted her.

“He came over to me and sat down on the love seat and opened his fly and grabbed my head and pushed my head down,” she told the Washington Post. “And then he turned me over. It was like a waking nightmare.” Now 71, Valentino decided to come forward after seeing Bowman’s allegations against Cosby in the Washington Post. 

Sarita Butterfield

Butterfield, another former Playboy Playmate, claims Cosby groped her in 1974, when she was attending a Christmas Eve dinner with his wife and five children. While Butterfield says Cosby didn’t attempt to drug her, “he was aggressive… he cornered me,” the now-59-year-old former model told the New York Daily News on Nov. 23. “It was so nasty, trying to get a quick kiss and touch my boobs.”

Photo via vinothchandar/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and meandmybadself/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Nov 24, 2014, 11:00 am CST