Understanding Bill Cosby’s Victims/Accusers

Understanding Bill Cosby's victims/accusers

Understanding Bill Cosby’s victims/accusers

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to share a personal rape story, discuss the Bill Cosby scandal and reveal insights into the psychology and responses of the women who claim to be his victims.

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Now, let’s talk about the Bill Cosby scandal and reveal a personal rape story as well as insights into the psychology and responses of the women who claim to be his victims.

More than a dozen women have publicly accused one of TV’s most famous and beloved actors and paternal figure, Bill Cosby of sexually abusing, drugging or raping them. 

The public’s reaction has been overwhelming with 3 primary responses:

  1. He’s guilty and a rapist
  2. He’s innocent until proven guilty
  3. The women are lying and chasing fame and money

All three responses make sense.

Rape is obviously abhorrent, and claims of rape automatically trigger extreme emotional responses and calls for justice and revenge.

When we hear multiple women making the same accusations which, appeals to our morality and which triggers anger because we have compassion for the victims (attempting to understand the extent of their pain and suffering) we automatically find the accused guilty and we cry out for the accused to be punished.

The justice system is based on a basic premise that everyone is innocent of alleged crimes until he/she has been tried in a court of law and found guilty. However, our emotions prevent us from considering that point, particularly since many people believe that Bill Cosby committed these crimes and offenses and that he has gotten away with it for a very long time – for decades.

The third reaction, which attacks the women making the accusations, is based on two premises:

  1. Almost all of these women were silent for decades and that leads people to mistrust their claims by questioning why they took no action for decades. I will explain and expand on this in a moment.
  2. Cognitive Dissonance – it creates extraordinary stress and an internal struggle when two conflicting thoughts are presented i.e. ‘Bill Cosby is a beloved, warm, caring person (with whom I have fond memories) and whom tried to lift up the poor black community’ and, Bill Cosby is a monster, a rapist who drugged women.’ Thus, even if the latter is true, there will always be a percentage of people who will choose to deny that possibility because they do not want to destroy their image of him as a beloved person.  Click to read more.

Now let’s talk about the attack on the victims (often labeled as ‘victim blaming.’)

It is true that little has been said prior to 2014 about Bill Cosby being a rapist or drugging women. However, on June 9, 2006, The Philadelphia published an article by Robert Huber “Dr Huxtable and Mr. Hyde.” The article named and related stories by 4 women who claimed Bill Cosby had drugged and molested/raped them or tried to do so.

There were never any criminal charges against Bill Cosby.

The women did not go to the police, with the exception of Lachele Covington and Andrea Constand.

Lachele Covington was 20 when she told police Cosby put her hand under his shirt, and tried to take her hand down his sweat pants but she pulled her hand away and then said she was leaving and he said “That’s fine.” The police said no crime had been committed.

Andrea Constand went to police one year after the alleged rape and was told by police that there was insufficient evidence to proceed. She subsequently filed a civil lawsuit and it was settled outside court – she received a payment. Her attorney claimed he had 12 anonymous women and one Tamara Green who were ready to testify that they had similar experiences of being drugged and raped or assaulted by Cosby. Again, those women had never previously reported him to the police, nor subsequently. Nor did they ever file individual civil lawsuits – as far as records reveal.

When reading the full stories of these women, in their own words, it becomes apparent that in most of the cases, they had a romantic relationship/affair with Bill Cosby. The drugging occurred at the beginning of the romantic relationship or later on during the relationship. Shockingly, even after being drugged and raped, many of them continued to have a consensual romantic relationship.


Beth Ferrer was one of the anonymous women willing to testify. She later admitted that she had a six-month long consensual relationship with Cosby, and subsequently sold her story to the National Enquirer for $7,500.00. 

Barbara Bowman, was an aspiring actress, who in 2014 in an exclusive interview followed by an article in the Washington Post, stated that Cosby had drugged her on two separate occasions and admitted that Cosby paid for her NY apartment: I knew something was wrong, that this was a twisted situation, but if I resisted, I was failing him and failing my good fortune. He was a pot of gold and I needed to take good care of it.”

Regardless of whether or not they stayed with Cosby after being raped, if what they say is true, then they were raped.

Many people ask: Why did some women, after being drugged and raped as they claimed, continue to have a relationship with Bill Cosby?

Some of them, as above, openly answered the question – for money, glamour and the promise of fame and a career; many of the women claimed he promised to help them with their career.

This is the story of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general: a young, impressionable, vulnerable, starry-eyed girl who longs for fame, fortune and glamour, is seduced (on many levels) by the promise of a rich, famous and powerful man whom she trusts as he, in turn, manipulates and convinces her that he can make her dream come true. Then, he gives her a taste of the glamorous life and she easily becomes addicted, even after being violated. Therese Serignese says she was drugged and raped by Cosby in 1976, yet she continued to stay with him for numerous nights, stayed in his penthouse suite for several weeks and stayed in contact with him for decades and even asked him for $15,000.00 for medical bills many years later; he obliged.

The equally shocking truth is that it is not only teenage girls and young women who fall prey and become victims; teenage boys and young men do as well!

So here is my story which, I have never revealed or shared before.

I was 20 and one of my dreams was radio. I had received a lead via a radio school, for a job opportunity in a major city.

The radio station GM was looking for a part time announcer who would also work closely with him on a personal project.

I will refer to him as Lawrence.

I was told he would pay for the flights and hotel during my 3 day visit.

When I arrived I was shocked to learn that Lawrence lived in a hotel, and he expected me to stay in his bed with him – there was no second bed.

The job offer was extraordinary – all expenses-paid trips flying around the world to interview famous people, plus a paid apartment in the city, and a really, really high salary. This was at a time and a place, when access to celebrities, world travel and gigantic salaries were extremely limited or very rare.

Lawrence said “If we are going to have a business relationship, we also have to have a personal relationship…you will have your own pad and you can even have a girlfriend…I will call you occasionally to let you know that I need to let off some stress, and you will come over.”

It was a dream job with fame and fortune, in exchange for sex.

I recall walking around the elite neighborhood in that city, in a daze, and looking at all the huge mansions and luxurious cars. I was fantasizing about flying around the world and interviewing celebrities. I was imagining what I could do with all that money. I dreamed about owning one of the mansions and one of those cars.

Then, I wondered, “Can I do this? Can I actually go through with this? I am not gay but can I do this? How can I have a girlfriend and then do this?”

My answer was “No.” It went against all of my own morality and, I wanted to be recognized and rewarded for my talents not my sexual services.

I told him no and he let me go.

Did he try to have sex with me during the visit? Of course, he did.

Did he try more than once? Of course, he did.

Did he try to persuade, tempt and manipulate me? Of course, he did.

Did he drug or rape me? No, he did not.

I was not a victim, the way these women who accused Cosby were.

I already had had numerous experiences with entertainers and powerful people in TV and radio who had tried to manipulate me, tempt me or seduce me with grandiose offers in return for sex.

I had already experienced attempted rape one late night when I was 19 and hitchhiking home from radio school because I had missed the last bus.

Did I report that incident to the police? It never crossed my mind, I didn’t want anyone to know and I never told anyone, except one person:

The following day while working part-time at a Jewelry store, I suddenly broke down crying and I couldn’t stop crying. Ironically, I opened up to the manager who was gay and he opened my eyes, by saying that the sexual orientation of the rapist is irrelevant – rape is rape.

I now concluded that this is the way of the world – there will always be some man in power who will try to use or abuse you.

I cannot speak for, or judge these alleged victims of Cosby, the way others are doing. I was fortunate enough to walk away quickly from a situation, an offer of fame and fortune that could have entrapped me, and which, one day, many years later, could have left me feeling angry, dirty, violated, and abused just like these women are feeling now! I was fortunate enough to not have been drugged and raped!

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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