In 2005, a young Canadian woman who’d met Bill Cosby in Philadelphia through Temple University accused him of drugging her and then, when she was in a near-comatose state, molesting her. (See “Dr. Huxtable & Mr. Hyde,” June 2006.) It went nowhere legally — the woman, Andrea Constand, waited a year before going to police, and it boiled down to a he said/she said (Cosby claimed the sex was consensual, according to ABC News); the police dropped the case for lack of evidence. But Constand filed a civil complaint in federal court in Philly last year. The suit, in which she asks for an unspecified amount of money over $150,000, is currently awaiting trial. It is still Cosby’s no against her yes, with one difference: 13 women came forward to be deposed in the suit as witnesses. In a court filing, Constand’s lawyer says that all of them — with nothing to gain, with no payouts waiting, with their own statutes of limitations run out — have stories about Bill Cosby as well, and some of them claim a similar drug-and-fondling M.O. Two of those 13 — Tamara Green, now a lawyer in California, and Beth Ferrier, a former model in Colorado — have told their stories to the press.
Now a third witness in the Constand suit, Barbara Bowman, of Arizona, has come forward to tell us her story. Through his lawyer, Bill Cosby says what Bowman claims is “absolutely untrue.”
I was 17 or 18, an aspiring actress, when I was introduced to Bill Cosby by my agent in Denver, in late 1985 or early ’86. My agent was planning to get me to New York to further my career; I had been with her since I was about 14 — I’d taken a lot of acting classes and modeling classes and had started booking jobs doing commercials and TV appearances, all local Denver stuff at that point. Evidently she and Cosby were good friends. She was introducing him to her actresses she felt had promise — I was stunned that my agent thought enough of me to introduce me to Bill Cosby. He was going to groom me and mentor me. I was going to New York.
I met him during the day in a conference room, just me and Cosby. It was scary — he’s very forward and verbose and a very strong presence. I felt that I was with someone who was very powerful. I performed some monologue for him — it was a business meeting. That’s all I really remember about that.
So I went to New York — my agent had set up an apartment for me — and I took classes, and that’s all I did. I studied as diligently as possible. I was only there a couple of months, and there were two incidents with Bill Cosby — then I was out of there. I came back to Denver. I had to regroup and start over.
The first incident with Cosby, I was invited over to his brownstone in New York for dinner. An assistant was there. I wasn’t uncomfortable or anything. But then the assistant left — I didn’t know that he had gone. I had one glass of wine, and the next thing I knew I was dizzy and felt sick as we were talking in the living room. And then I was lying on the couch.
The next thing I knew, I was throwing up, and Cosby was holding my hair out of the toilet bowl. He was wearing a robe, and I was wearing a T-shirt that wasn’t mine. It was very strange, I was very confused — one glass of wine shouldn’t have made me pass out. But at the time, I just thought, “Wow, I got sick.” And then I went home, in a cab.
Then I was invited to Atlantic City, where he was doing a show. I was driven down in a car and met by a Cosby assistant. I had my own room, on a separate floor from Cosby’s. But when I got to my room, late, my luggage was missing. The assistant was sort of escorting me around — I was never alone — and I started calling the concierge to find my luggage. Cosby started getting mad because I was making it known that I was there. I went to my room and went to bed.
The next morning, I was called up to his room because my luggage had been found, and it was there. When I got to his room, we talked for a few minutes. And then Cosby threw me on the bed and braced his forearm against my neck and attempted to disrobe me and himself — I can still remember him messing with his belt. And I was screaming and crying and yelling and begging him to stop.
Cosby was angry but got tired of the fight, and said that I was embarrassing him, that I was making too much noise and making a scene. He threw me out. I grabbed my bags and out the door I went. I got myself to New York.
It was my agent who was sponsoring me, and she pulled the plug on me after that incident, though we never talked about it. I was forced to go home to Denver as soon as I could get my stuff together. Cosby called me. He told me that he better never, ever see my face, or hear my name, again.
Back in Denver, I saved up some money and made it back to New York. I got a job as a waitress and ended up moving in with a girlfriend I met at the restaurant where I worked. I ended up in lots of commercials and doing TV stuff — walk-on soap parts and different things.
The incidents with Cosby made me feel completely violated, and that I couldn’t trust someone who told me that I could. I was so frightened of him that I did exactly what he told me to do, and that was … disappear. A few years after it happened, I told a friend what happened, and she took me to a lawyer. He laughed at me. I never told another authority figure about it again.
After seven years in New York, I went to L.A. and continued acting. Then I went to college to study psychology, and met my husband and eventually started a family.
The reason I’m speaking is to support Andrea Constand. I was scared a long time ago, but I’m not now. I’m not suing — I’m simply a witness. I’m not speaking for publicity or attention. Enough is enough — I can’t sit in silence anymore.