Slate's Culture Blog

Nov. 21 2014 7:50 PM

A Complete List of the Women Who Have Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

The following women have alleged as a matter of public record that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted or raped them. They are listed in the order their allegations became public.

1. Lachele Covington. Covington, an actress who was 20 at the time, filed a police report alleging that Cosby pushed her hand toward his penis after inviting her to his New York home on Jan. 25, 2000 to give her career advice. The New York Post reported that authorities "decided no crime had been committed because until the very moment Covington pulled her hand away, all actions had been consensual." A Cosby spokesperson called the story "not true."

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2. Andrea Constand. Constand told Ontario police in January 2005 that a year prior, when she was 31, she had visited Cosby at his home in Pennsylvania seeking career advice. (Constand, an Ontario native, worked at the time for Temple University, Cosby's alma mater.) Constand alleges he gave her "herbal" pills for anxiety, then “touched her breasts and vaginal area, rubbed his penis against her hand, and digitally penetrated” her. The Pennsylvania prosecutor who looked into the case has said that while he didn't bring charges because the available evidence was not sufficient, he found Constand "credible" and found Cosby "evasive." After prosecutors declined to charge him, Constand filed a civil suit against Cosby for $150 million; her suit cited, anonymously, 13 other women who alleged that he had sexually assaulted them. (Some of those women, referred to as "Jane Does" in legal language, have since identified themselves publicly and are mentioned below. The identities of Jane Doe witnesses are disclosed to defendants so their testimony can be fairly researched and challenged, but they are not ID'd by name in court or in public records.) Cosby's attorney called Constand's claims "utterly preposterous." The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2006.

3. Tamara Green. In February of 2005, Green, a retired trial attorney, appeared on The Today Show and told Matt Lauer that Cosby had drugged and assaulted her in the '70s. Green was working as a model and met Cosby through mutual friends, she says, and he once offered her what he told her was cold medicine when she was ill. When she began to feel incapacitated, she alleges, he offered to take her home, where he began groping and undressing her; when she struggled, he left, leaving behind two $100 bills on her table. Cosby's attorney issued the following response (which referenced Green's maiden name, Lucier): "Miss Green’s allegations are absolutely false. Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Green or Tamara Lucier, and the incident she describes did not happen." Green was one of the Jane Does cited in Constand's lawsuit.

4. Beth Ferrier. In June 2005, Ferrier, 46 at the time, told the Philadelphia Daily News that Cosby drugged her coffee when she visited him before a performance in Denver when she was 25. Ferrier, who worked as a model, had been in a consensual relationship with Cosby that ended before the alleged assault; she met him through mutual acquantainces and had believed he would help her with her career. Ferrier was also a Jane Doe.

5. Barbara Bowman. In 2006, Bowman publicly identified herself as one of Constand's Jane Does via an article in Philadelphia Magazine, though she didn't discuss details of her accusation at the time. In October of this year—after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during a performance—Bowman, now 47 and an artist, spoke about her experience to the Daily Mail. When she was 17 and pursuing a career as a model and actress, she says, she met Cosby, who she says pursued a mentor-mentee relationship with her and drugged and assaulted her multiple times. (While the Daily Mail can be unreliable, Bowman later vouched for its version of her account in a Washington Post piece.) Bowman's account mentions that during their first encounter he asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be drunk while he stroked her, an incident similar to those recounted by other accusers.

6. Joan Tarshis. On Nov. 16 of this year Joan Tarshis, a 64-year-old music industry publicist and journalist, told Hollywood Elsewhere that Cosby raped her twice in 1969 when she was 19 years old and pursuing a career as a writer in L.A. Tarshis says Cosby first assaulted her after he invited her to work on material with him in his bungalow and made her a drink that caused her to lose consciousness.

7. Linda Joy Traitz. Now 63, Traitz wrote on Facebook on Nov. 17 that Cosby assaulted her when she was 19 and working as a waitress at a restaurant that he partially owned. Traitz alleges that Cosby offered her a ride home from the restaurant but instead drove her to a beach and tried to force her to take pills to help her "relax." Traitz told CNN he then groped her chest, pushed her down, and tried to lie on top of her. Traitz has a criminal record that includes imprisonment on a drug trafficking conviction; in a response to her allegations, Marty Singer, an attorney representing Cosby, cited her troubled past and said she lacks credibility.

8. Janice Dickinson. On Nov. 18, model and reality TV personality Janice Dickinson, now 59, told Entertainment Tonight that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982. At a dinner in Lake Tahoe at which they were to discuss her career, she says, she asked him for a pill for period cramps, and that "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." Singer, Cosby's attorney, called Dickinson's story "a fabricated lie." Dickinson says Cosby's attorneys kept her from including a description of the alleged assault in a 2002 book, but Singer says she never wrote such a description and was never contacted by Cosby representatives.

9. Therese Serignese. The Huffington Post printed allegations made against Cosby by Serignese, a 57-year-old nurse in Boca Raton, Florida, on Nov. 20. She says she encountered Cosby in 1976 when she was 19 years old; he was headlining a show at the Las Vegas Hilton, she alleges, and approached her in the hotel gift shop. Backstage in the green room, he allegedly gave her drugs, and when she came to he was having sex with her in a bathroom, she says. Serignese subsequently stayed in contact with Cosby and accepted money from him—which he had promised to give her if she pursued an education and received good grades. She told the HuffPo that at one point in their relationship (it's not clear when) he asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be an actress.

10. Carla Ferrigno. Carla Ferrigno, an actress and the wife of Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, told Rumorfix on Nov. 20 that in 1967 Cosby grabbed her and forcefully kissed her at a party while his wife was in another room.

11. Louisa Moritz. Moritz, a 68-year-old lawyer and onetime actress who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, told TMZ in a story published Nov. 20 that in 1971, Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him in the greenroom of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Singer responded by saying allegations against Cosby have "reached a point of absurdity" and alleging that Moritz has been the subject of professional sanctions: "Mortiz is a lawyer who was disciplined by the California State Bar and ordered not to practice. We pulled the documents -- she can't practice because she didn't report certain quarterly reports."

12. Renita Chaney Hill. Hill, now 47, says she met Cosby when she was 15 and he was filming an educational TV segment in Pittsburgh. Hill says they stayed in touch for four years—that Cosby flew her to meet with him in various cities and kept in touch with her parents, asking them about her grades in school. On Nov. 20 a Pittsburgh CBS affiliate broadcast an interview with Hill in which she said she believes Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion during their relationship. 

13. Angela Leslie. On Nov. 21, the New York Daily News reported that a 52-year-old former model-actress named Angela Leslie says that Cosby sexually assaulted her in Las Vegas in 1992. Leslie alleges Cosby fixed her a drink, asked her to wet her hair and pretend to be intoxicated, and masturbated using her hand while she was "in shock."

Correction, November 21, 2014: This post originally misspelled Hannibal Buress' name.

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Nov. 21 2014 6:06 PM

YA Dystopian Films Have Become Everything They Hate

This article originally appeared in Vulture.

The Hunger Games continues to wend its way towards a conclusion with this weekend’s awkwardly titled The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. That a Part 2 arrives next year to wrap up the franchise is enough to render this installment in Katniss Everdeen’s uprising saga somewhat less than wholly consequential. Yet even more problematic for Part 1 is that it’s a thoroughly been-here, done-that type of entertainment. In just over a year, movie theaters have been besieged by six dystopian science-fiction films designed for young adults, all of them adapted from best-selling novels: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Ender’s Game, Divergent, The Maze Runner, The Giver, and now Mockingjay – Part 1. More depressing still is the fact that while these films can claim a distinct literary lineage, each one, in making the transition to the big screen, has been cut from a matching cloth, hewing to such a rigorous narrative, aesthetic, and casting template that they’ve become the very thing their stories so vehemently decry: conformist instruments of the ruling modern-Hollywood machine.

The fact that futuristic movies about heroes revolting against conventionality are themselves completely conventional is an irony apparently lost on (or ignored by) the filmmakers themselves, as well as the audiences who voraciously consume them. Of course, each of the five aforementioned films/franchises take their own approach (and social-commentary angle) to the genre. Nonetheless, they share so many similarities that they not only resemble disposable facsimiles of each other, but they negate the very rebel-yell messages they purport to champion. Taking their cues from Logan’s Run, Star Wars, and decades’ worth of other science-fiction stories in which a group of plucky do-gooders band together to stage an insurgency against baddies who seek to control through oppressive uniformity, they recycle familiar material in virtually the same ways—thus calling attention to their own dreary indistinctness.

Nov. 21 2014 4:20 PM

What Should the Smithsonian Do With Its Show of Bill Cosby’s Art Collection?

As rape allegations against Bill Cosby have continued to emerge this week, with a fifth andsixth woman stepping forward to publicly accuse the iconic comedian, the backlash has been swift: NBC and Netflix have both dropped plans for new projects with Cosby, while TV Land announced it would stop airing reruns of The Cosby Show indefinitely. But Cosby’s collaboration with the art establishment remains alive and well, as dozens of works from Bill and wife Camille Cosby’s personal collection are currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Nov. 21 2014 3:20 PM

Factory-Farmed Turkeys Are More Than Twice as Big as Wild Turkeys

In October, Vox published a picture that vividly shows how much bigger chickens have gotten since 1957, thanks to selective breeding. If you’ve taken a gander at a gargantuan Butterball bird lately, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that selective breeding has made commercial turkeys much bigger, too. Julie Rossman and Roxanne Palmer of the World Science Festival made a side-by-side comparison of supermarket turkeys and wild turkeys, and it’s pretty clear which one would win in a fight.

Nov. 21 2014 2:48 PM

It Makes Sense to Split Mockingjay, and That Cliffhanger Is the Perfect Place to Stop

This post contains spoilers for Mockingjay Part 1.

Most reviewers of Mockingjay Part 1, including Slate’s own Dana Stevens, have noted that the movie ends with a jarring halt. Peeta, who has been “highjacked” by the Capitol, tries to strangle Katniss, who has spent the entire movie obsessing over getting him back. For fans of the movies who haven’t read the book, this presents a particularly juicy cliffhanger: For the first time, these two characters haven’t spent the entire movie trying to save each other. Instead, they get just one scene together, and he tries to kill her. For fans of the books, who know what’s to come, this simply re-emphasizes that—whatever you want to say about this being a feminist vision of a dystopic future world much like our present—The Hunger Games is really the story of all the obstacles Katniss and Peeta face in trying to save each other. Which is why ending the movie there makes perfect sense.

Nov. 21 2014 2:08 PM

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the New 3-D, CGI Peanuts

The first full trailer for the new 3-D, CGI Peanuts movie surfaced online this week, and the reaction was the same as it was to the teaser: Thousands of nearly unanimous voices suddenly cried out at once, “Good grief!” The Week calls the new trailer “distressingly unfaithful,” iO9 notes that it “feels wrong,” and Indiewire lifted its fists towards the heavens, lamenting, “20th Century Fox, what have you done... .Vulture, meanwhile, compared the idea of CGI Peanuts to “emoji Guernica, or dubstep Mozart.” (Some Slate writers made their complaints more direct.)

My fondness for dubstep Mozart aside, the problem with all this handwringing is pretty simple: It tends to presume that the Peanuts have one Edenic incarnation whose integrity and purity is still around to be ruined. Boy is that wrong.

In reality, our beloved Snoopy, Lucy, and the gang have evolved quite a lot since they first appeared, and along the way they have been subjected to innumerable indignities far worse than a trailer soundtracked by Flo Rida. To understand why no one should worry about the new 3-D, CGI Peanuts, let’s take a short tour of the Peanuts history hall of horrors.

Nov. 21 2014 1:51 PM

Why Serial Can’t Settle on a Genre

As Serial has progressed, it has become less obvious what exactly the podcast is about. Defining itself as it goes along is part of the show’s appeal, but it also makes listening feel precarious: Every week you tune in and wonder whether you’ll hear a murder mystery, a crime procedural, or a pensive character study. And then there are the minisections patched into the larger fabric, like this week’s standalone, deeply emotional memorial to Hae Min Lee, or the one-off wacky comedy sketch between host Sarah Koenig and fellow producer Dana Chivvis. The show swerves between genres, counting on Koenig’s warm and relatable persona to weave it all together. Serial may not end up in the place it originally intended—its form may be more dictated by the facts of the case than even the TAL team anticipated—and maybe that structural wavering is part of the point.

I’d argue that Serial doesn’t know what it is because it doesn’t yet know how it ends. (St. Augustine was the first of many autobiographers to note the contradiction of narrating a life that’s still unfolding.) The show lies more or less at the mercy of the real-life story it has set in motion, with fresh characters and information—like new testimony from the victim’s high school friends, or the nonexistence of a crucial phone booth—materializing all the time.

Nov. 21 2014 1:18 PM

Will Reporters Finally Ask Terrence Howard About His Alleged Violence Against Women?

 

The Bill Cosby saga, as it’s played out over the last few weeks, represents a massive systemic fail for the media. This wasn’t just a story that the media missed. It’s a story that was already on the record and about a guy whom various newspapers, magazines, and TV networks helped promote in all sorts of ways over the last 10 years.

 

There are legitimate reasons for journalists not to pry into the private lives of celebrities, of course, and of course any story should be vetted and put in context.

Nov. 21 2014 12:09 PM

If Star Wars Were Made in 2014

With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 out this week and sequels like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 and 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Parts 1 and 2 dominant at the box office in recent years, we thought we’d imagine what it would look like if the final chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy were made in 2014.

Nov. 21 2014 11:48 AM

Watch Jon Stewart’s First—and Probably Last—Interview on the Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert only has 12 shows left before the Colbert Report comes to an end. But he is going out with a bang: Thursday night, he invited his former boss and “voice of the left,” as he calls him, Jon Stewart for his first-ever interview on the show. Stewart was there to promote his new movie, Rosewater. But with such a long history between the two, Colbert could barely keep in character for most of the interview.

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