Shine My Crown Read by Alexa
Model Beverly Johnson was one of the dozens of women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct.
Cosby was recently freed from prison. His was let out on a technicality, but what was clear about Cosby’s case is that any crime he did allegedly commit, many in the industry, helped feed his compulsions.
Johnson spoke about her terrifying encounter with Cosby while presenting the Positive Social Influence Award to Model Alliance at the 2021 CFDA Awards.
“I was the African American to grace the cover of Vogue magazine. That was a defining moment in my life,” she said according to ESSENCE.
Johnson continued. “Fewer know me as a survivor of Bill Cosby who drugged in his home during my audition for the Cosby show. It was by the grace of God and the fact that I screamed and cursed at the top of my lungs that I wasn’t raped,” she shared. “My modeling agency recommended me for the audition. I found out later during the trial that my agent was specifically assigned with setting up innocent models for that predator.”
In 2015, Cosby filed a lawsuit against Johnson for defamation. He accused the supermodel of lying about the attempted rape at his New York home in the mid-1980s, accusing her of trying to sell books.
“I am aware of the statements from Bill Cosby,” Johnson said in a statement at the time. “In cases of rape and abuse, abusers will do whatever they can to intimidate and weaken their victims to force them to stop fighting. I ask for your support of all of the victims involved.”
Cosby later withdrew his lawsuit against Johnson.
In a statement, his lawyer, Monique Pressley, said that the lawsuit had been withdrawn because of the criminal proceedings, “which impede Mr. Cosby’s ability to fully participate in litigating the civil case against Ms. Johnson.”
In 2012, Sara Ziff created an organization called the Model Alliance, which aimed to serve as a kind of union for working models. Johnson is a part of that alliance.
“That’s why the Model Alliance is so revolutionary we’ve passed laws to establish workers rights in the fashion industry from extending child labor protections to underage models in New York to safe guarding all the talent from sexual harassment,” she said. “We are now fighting to pass an adult survivor act in New York which recognizes that all survivors deserve a chance at justice.”
The bill would strengthen sexual assault survivor protections by granting sexual assault survivors the chance to sue their abuser after the statute of limitations has passed.