During a stand-up performance last month, comedian Hannibal Burress remarked on the sexual assault allegations that have been directed at Bill Cosby over the past several decades.
Prior to Burress’ comments, the accusations had been all but forgotten by the press, and they’ve now resurfaced in a way that’s proven profoundly damaging to Cosby’s career and reputation.
Cosby has denied the rape allegations through a statement issued by his attorney, but has declined to speak publicly about the scandal himself.
But while Cosby’s chosen to remain silent, a woman by the name of Joan Tarshis has come forward with some shocking new accusations.
Tarshis says she spent some time with Cosby in 1969, when she was an aspiring actress and he was the most in-demand comic talent. According to Tarshis, Cosby used his fame to victimize her in horrific fashion.
Just 19 at the time of the alleged incident, Tarshis says she was thrilled by the opportunity to work with Cosby on a comedy routine. Decades later, however, she claims she’s still haunted by the memory of Cosby drugging her and then forcing himself upon her:
“He made me the drink he knew I liked to drink,” Tarshis said during one of her recent interviews. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up or coming to on the couch, being undressed by him.”
“I thought I was being so clever, because I said, ‘Oh, I have an infection, and if you have sex with me, your wife will catch it and she’ll know you’re having extramarital sex.”
Tarshis claims Cosby then forced her to have oral sex with him and she later “woke up naked in bed next to him.”
Tarshis believes there are other women who have been assaulted by Cosby in a similar fashion, and who may have chosen to remain silent due to their belief that he’s “too powerful” to suffer any consequences.
Cosby shut down and went completely silent during a recent NPR interview in which he was asked about the allegations. The 77-year-old comic seems to be hoping the scandal will simply go away on its own, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point.
In addition to Tarshis publicly encouraging other victims to come forward, social media users have been relentless in their efforts to keep the accusations in the headlines.
A “Bill Cosby meme generator” posted by Cosby’s PR team last week was used by Twitter followers to call attention to the scandal, and several media outlets have canceled interviews with the comedy legend in recent weeks.
Thanks a lot, Internet users. Now we’ll never be able to watch The Cosby Show the same way ever again!
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Joan Tarshis: Bill Cosby Accuser Offers Shocking Details of Alleged Sexual Assault