Editor's Note: On Tuesday, Janice Dickinson sat down with ET's Kevin Frazier to talk about her accusations that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982.
In the interview, Dickinson, now 59, claims that Cosby, now 77, gave her a glass of red wine and a pill after having dinner in Lake Tahoe.
"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 told 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. The next morning I remember waking up with my pajamas off and there was semen in between my legs."
Cosby has never been charged in any criminal case regarding Dickinson's or any other woman's accusations. His lawyer, Marty Singer, said on Wednesday, "Janice Dickinson's story accusing Bill Cosby of rape is a lie."
In the following op-ed written exclusively for ETonline, Dickinson explains her initial reaction to the alleged sexual assault:
I have several photographs of him, in that room, which I took just before I blacked out. I have witnesses the next day describing my anguish. But as with the other women involved here, I was very intimidated by him, his position, his social position, his being able to bring my ascending modeling career to a halt, and of being shamed and ostracized because who would believe me versus him and his top notch lawyers? This did happen to one woman, who then was paid money in a settlement after he was on trial and she was about to bring in many other women to testify to the same experience. I don't blame her. I'm sure she made the best decision she could.
My reaction was typical of women assaulted this way. First there is denial. (It couldn't have happened, I don't want it to have happened, he wouldn't do that to me. I'm not "that kind of woman," I have been good and this doesn't happen in my family -- but actually it does and is just not talked about, like with my father's abuse of us three sisters.
Then there is guilt after finally believing it happened. We all have this inner head voice: Why was I so naive? Why did I go to this guy's room, house, apartment, or car? Why didn't I spot this earlier? This only happens to women who deserve it. Am I a slut? Will people say it was my fault, that I'm a slut, that I deserved it? And the inevitable: Did you fight back and what did you expect? (See what Don Lemon asked another victim yesterday.)
Then there is the fear we have. I will be blamed, he will hurt me more, he will come after me. Who can I turn to? My Catholic mother? Oh, no. A friend? Only my closest real friend. To my loving man? There is none around.
And: Oh my god! No really "good" guy would have me if he knew. Who will protect me? What if I have children? They would be teased and miserable, always being "that woman's child."
We say, if I talk, will the police believe me? From what I've read: NO. (Note: This happened before rape centers, rape kits, and rape counseling, which are great advances, although as we see, often the rape kit is still never even processed in many jurisdictions. Women were routinely judged for having had sex with other men, or with how many men. Only recently has that past been disallowed. I knew they would drag me through the dirt and I'd never recover from that.)
Next is anger. I'm going to get him. Fantasies of physically punishing the guy are common. But oddly, we women virtually never acted on these. But we do say to ourselves: I'll tell the world, or the paper, or his boss, or his wife. But … That will really embarrass me, and I'll be the "crazy bitch."
Back to fear: You can see this happening here right now.
So, last is suppression. I will forget about it. I won't think of it. I'll get over it. I will be strong. It didn't really mean much. I certainly won't tell a major paper have my minor children suffer.
But that path is a lie and distorts your life. Disturbed dreams are involuntary. Seeing him in the news or social events in unavoidable with the powerful, whether in cities or towns alike. One common coping outcome is using to forget: alcohol, drugs, self-destructive behavior and isolation. And then restricting one's choices in life: schooling, profession, relationships. Or make really bad choices for relationships. I did that too. This leads to a vicious cycle of guilt, escape, bad choices.
Subsequently I wanted to and did have many affairs with powerful and prominent men. They didn't seduce me. It was my decision. But later, I have insight that this was really a way to try and prove to myself that I was in control. That I could manage all these powerful men. That they did not control me at all. That I was not afraid of men, or anything else. That I was never going to be held back in my career or life. I don't know if that path is common because we don't hear from so many women. Some women simply reject all intimacy from then on.
Now I see that my silence, even though logical in a distorted way, permitted him to continue to do this to other women. Maybe if I had been really vocal, it would have saved many women. (Sisters, this is a really good reason to report sexual assault, even if it is very painful and scary for each of us.)
I just read in the paper that 10 percent of college women are sexually assaulted. The only way to stop this is to be really vocal. I am so proud of these young women who do come forward and out the scumbags. If we all do this every time, then we will be really helping our daughters to be safer.
I think the best path is to tell the truth. If friends or family won't support you, then they don't deserve to be friends or family.
The Cosby camp wants you to believe that this is some conspiracy, but nearly 20 women who don't know each other, over many years, can't be in a conspiracy.
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