Nicolle Rochelle went viral this week after she protested topless at the first day of Bill Cosby’s retrial. Not only did Rochelle go topless, she also had the words “Rapist” and “Women’s Live Matter” painted across her body in red as well as the names of Cosby’s alleged victims.
Rochelle was swiftly handcuffed and thrown into custody.
PEOPLE spoke to the former Cosby Show actress about the incident.
“He’s a man who’s disempowered women’s bodies for decades. It doesn’t seem to be recognized,” Rochelle told PEOPLE. “The case is being publicized with this narrative of race. He’s being painted as the victim. I wanted to emphasize that this is about rape. I wanted to make him uncomfortable and to make people think about women’s bodies.”
“People are like why is she naked? I hope this causes people to engage more,” she told them. “Of course, I have no idea what Bill Cosby was thinking but I would hope that he stops for a minute and think about his own truth. At the moment, 61 women aren’t allowed to testify against him. That’s pretty appalling. The very least I could do is lend my body to this cause.”
Rochelle appeared on four episodes of The Cosby Show under the name Nicole Leach between 1990 and 1992.