I was asked to do a deeper analysis of Barbara Bowman; more than just "veracity indicated." There is a short article about "humor" in Statement Analysis, as well as a video just released by the Associated Press in which Cosby is asked, there times, about the allegations. His answers are interesting and note worthy, as is his response when he believed the interview was over. What do we look for in a false accusation? We have seen them repeatedly, including "Fake Hate", which is posted on this blog. What do we expect to see in a truthful account? The following is an interview with one of the women who had accused actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault, including drugging the alleged victims. The interview is recent, with the allegations years old.
For commitment to the statement, we look for, among other things:
Strong pronoun usage
Past Tense verbs
We also need to note how she relates to "Bill Cosby", as the perpetrator. We will take note to see if there is any change in his name, in context of what happened. A truthful victim will show consistency in language. Also: We know that first person singular, "I", with past tense verbs, connects to the past in a reliable way, yet victims of sexual abuse can suffer PTSD or PTSD-like symptoms, which can lead to some use of present tense verbs. In these cases, we look for the context of present tense verbs: is it directly linked to suffering? This is critical.
Is she telling the truth? Or, is there indication of deception within her answers? Is she making this claim due to rejection by him? Is she seeking fame? We let her language guide us to the truth.
Q. How did you know Bill Cosby?
The interviewer introduces the alleged perpetrator as "Bill Cosby", full name.
I was a 17-year-old model and up-and-coming actress in Denver, Colorado. My agent knew Bill. I was told that he wanted to scout some new talent -- if we were lucky, we would be groomed to go to New York and get more solid training so we could move up the ladder, maybe eventually get to audition for the Cosby Show.
Bill came to town, and my agent set up a meeting for us. I was told that Bill wanted to get to know me and my acting abilities and skill level, and wanted to know what sort of marketing ability I had. He had me come meet him whenever he was in town to do meet-and-greets, and he’d give me acting lessons. Then, he started flying me around to major cities to events to get accustomed to being around celebrities, and, he said, to see if I was worthy of mentoring.
She is now an adult, and no longer 17. It is interesting that she used the word "groomed" here; when it is so often associated with child abuse. The word "we" is regarding those who would be "groomed" and not a connection between herself and the actor.
Follow the pronouns and names.
Name: The alleged perpetrator is "Bill", first name only .
Context: Meeting him, him coming to town, her being tested to see if she was "worthy of mentoring." This is casual and not formal. What would a victim have a casual attitude towards the rapist? Note the answer lies in the context. If we see the word "we" after the assault, there is a problem. In this case, the word "we" is about the potential stars. "I was told" is passive which seeks to conceal identity. The passivity is appropriate if the subject does not know the identity. "I was told" is not ascribed to an agent or anyone specifically. This may represent the 'layers' between a celebrity and someone trying to break in to the business. What did she believe that Bill Cosby wanted? This is important for us to learn if she is a jilted lover out for revenge and is deceptive, or if this is about her career. Her answer: 1. get to know me: what about her? She then gives specifics: 2. acting abilities 3. skill level 4. marketing ability "me" is first, but 3/4 are career, of which "me" cannot exist without. This is not an indication of a personal nature, but of a professional interest. She does not indicate that she went into this thinking romance with Bill Cosby, but about her career. She gives professional and financial descriptions and not personal descriptions about herself. It is not about her being "nice" or "kind" or "good" or anything personal. It is about career ability and marketability. The language shows a serious and professional demeanor. "He had me come meet him" is showing Cosby as being in control and in authority. It is important that we learn whether or not she is truthful about the exploitation of a younger woman by an older, established star. We need to know if this is true, by the language. Here we see him in this status and ability to organize or orchestrate.
Q. What was it like having Bill Cosby as your mentor?
Interviewer continues with full name. The response is now contextually negative and she uses "he" and avoids his name. Here, we want to see if she will 'gush' over him, or if she will go to the seriousness of her allegations. A deceptive subject might gush:
It was overwhelming. It was surreal and exciting, but it was also scary. He worked me over emotionally and psychologically. He broke me down and really preyed on my insecurities… I had no father figure in my life, so he zoomed right in on that and tried to make me feel as though he loved me like a father would. 1. surreal and exciting is then minimized by the word "but" and answered with: 2. scary. She then gives us the reason it was "scary": "He worked me over emotionally and psychologically" He broke "me down" "preyed" and "insecurities" These are not self flattering terms. Not only is he holding over her the status of celebrity, but also the void in her life: a father figure.
I was young, wide-eyed and impressionable, and he would play games with my head, and manipulate me into believing that he cared about me, that I didn’t have anyone who cared as much as he cared, that I needed to trust him, that I had trust issues and that he would help me overcome those, because they would limit me as an actress. He told me I needed to give into him 100 percent, because he was investing in me, he believed in me.
"would" moves from the strong, past tense connection, but is sometimes used to describe actives that were ongoing.
Note also "told" is strong, authoritative, and consistent with a much older man and a 17 year old. Communicative language is important to notice. "That I didn't have anyone" is the isolation that abusers use. He cared "the most" or more than anyone. Note she had to "give in to him" because he believed in her. This is the language of control. She is not flattering herself as one seeking fame or fortune. Next: Names and Pronouns are critical. Let us note here:
"Bill Cosby" or "Bill", to the subject, is now only "he" in the context of abuse and seeking to get her to trust him. This is distancing language. We note that she used "Bill" when hoping to meet him and be part of a select group "groomed" for something: success in show business. As she now describes him, she moves closer to him with: "he worked me over", which is negative. Thus, the distancing from him by refusing, here, to employ his first name, "Bill", which would suggest closeness, instead using only the pronoun "he."
Q. When was the first time you felt uncomfortable around him?
The interviewer now drops the full name and uses the pronoun "him"
None of the abuse or drugging happened until I was 18… But on our very first meeting together, which occurred in the conference room at a nightclub in Denver, he led me through an acting exercise. First, he told me to go to the bathroom and wet my hair down. Then, he told me to sit in a chair, close my eyes, and act out a monologue as if I was really intoxicated. And he was touching my neck and stroking my hair.
Abuse comes before drugging, and since the question was "when?", the answer "until..." is appropriate.
"First" indicates logic with "Then" continuing the logical thought. The tension for the subject is seen in body posture.
She does not say "he touched" but "was touching", which indicates that she may be reliving the event at this point.
In the context of specific abuse, "Bill" is only "he" again. We see the disparity of sophistication: the famous actor teaching the young, inexperienced, how to act. This, again, portrays him in the position where he could exploit, and is not flattering to the victim.
I felt absolutely terrified. I was so new to the business and this was my first experience with a celebrity of such power, so I thought, “Wow, maybe this is what you are supposed to do. This is about learning how to be vulnerable in a scene, and if anyone would know best, it would be Bill Cosby.” I didn’t want to disappoint him or for him to think I couldn’t follow directions. So I gave it my all.
Please note that the emotions are here, in the 'perfect' part of the statement. This often indicates artificial placement; however:
This interview is years past the event, which means that the subject has had a long time to process her emotions and is not indicative of deception or 'editorializing.'
She gives her reasoning, which is common in sexual abuse victims.
"Bill Cosby", full and proper name, returns. The context: is knowing a celebrity. Where does "absolutely terrified" come from? Here she answers it quickly: "I was so new to the business" goes to the career and the business of making television programs and movies. This is about career, again, and not about a personal relationship with him. The mentoring, to the subject, is about career. We continue to seek if this is a jilted lover deceptively and falsely blaming the alleged perpetrator but it is not supported by the language. She did not want to disappoint him, professionally.
Q. What else can you remember?
I was assaulted a number of times from age 18 to 19. Cosby would warn me before out-of-town trips, "You aren't going to fight me this time, are you?"
Here she uses the word "assaulted" (very strong: "I was assaulted" ) and calls him the less respectful "Cosby" and not the friendly and familiar "Bill", nor the celebrity "Bill Cosby."
This is consistent with abuse.
Once in Reno, Nevada, he flew me out for a celebrity ski classic. He got me in a hotel room and fed me a lot of alcohol. He pinned me down in his suite on the couch, and he had me masturbate him. He really intimidated me, and I panicked.
In this very negative context, the pronoun "he" is used. She avoids using his name.
From them on, I would be praying and begging to God that it was in my imagination, it didn’t happen. I’d sit on the plane and say “Please God, please God, this is really about my career--I’m lucky.” And then I’d get there and he would just intimidate me and make me so scared... Note that sexual abuse victims are often in denial, and when they are not in denial, they wish they were. They often blame themselves, but later, when finally accepting the truth, they say things similar in which they "wished" it did not happen, or actually wish they could blame themselves. This is often associated with the guilt they feel. Even children that are sexually abused find ways to both blame and punish themselves. "I'd sit on a plane" shows her body posture, which indicates an increase in tension/anxiety as she considers this topic.
The first time I was drugged for sure was in New York, when he invited me to dinner at his apartment. There was a chef, a butler; we had dinner, it was all fine. I had one glass of wine and then I blacked out. I woke up throwing up in the toilet, and he was standing over me, pulling my hair out of my face. I was wearing a white t-shirt that wasn’t mine, and he was in a white robe. The passivity of language is not only the language of sexual assault victims, but of PTSD or PTSD like symptoms continuing. They attempt to deny, or even justify (career), or anything to 'protect the brain' from emotional pain.
The subject is not certain if she was drugged on other occasions. This may introduce alcohol into the equation, where as a youth, she was not handling it well. This may also be related to the passage of years as she has likely suffered nightmares and night terrors, and spent a great deal of time thinking about what happened and wondering if there were other times she was drugged and could not remember. Alcohol memories may not be recoverable, while drug memories sometimes are. The combination is not good. Note that "I woke up throwing up in the toilet" needs no additional words to persuade and no qualifiers. It is a truthful sentence.
I think the final time I was assaulted by him was in Atlantic City. He took me there for a show and got me very drunk. Later, [the hotel] lost my luggage, so I was on the phone with the concierge and he had an absolute fit that I was on the phone, and went ballistic. The next morning, he summoned me into his room and started berating me and calling me names and yelling at me, telling me I had embarrassed him, and he threw me on the bed and blocked me with his elbow and got on top of me and started taking his pants off and I was screaming and crying and begging him to leave me alone and I fought so hard and I was screaming so loud that he got mad and threw me aside and got away from me, and that was it.
She continues the distancing language with the celebrity in context of sexual abuse. "I was assaulted by him", again, needs no persuasive language and no qualifiers. On its own, it stands strong. Deceptive people need to persuade us. She does not. The words "I think" reduce commitment, which indicates that she is not certain this was the last time. Note that the perpetrator had an "absolute" fit that she was on the phone. This is consistent with controlling nature of power/authoritative abusers.
She connects herself to the past with strong pronoun use.
"I was screaming" instead of "I screamed" suggests ongoing impact to the victim. Note "he summoned me" with "summoning" being a word of authority; one who "summons" is superior to the one being "summoned." This is to say that he is the celebrity, and she is only there by his good graces. Note the use of "I was screaming" instead of "I screamed." Note where these verbs are used instead of the stronger, past tense. This is indicative that the suffering went on in duration longer than her words are revealing. PTSD and PTSD like symptoms come to those who have been sexually abused and they can, while talking of the abuse, slip into present tense language. Here, we find some sentences very short, and powerful, while others will give a sense of continued or continuing suffering. Next:
I was ditched. I was dropped like a hot potato by my agent. I was thrown out of my housing. They pulled the plug on me and said I had embarrassed him. Question: "I was ditched": is it personal, romantic, or professional? Answer: "...by my agent." This is not a woman who is seeking revenge on her former lover with false rape claims. This is about her career, and the forced silence and disbelief that increased her suffering.
In specific abuse, she appears incapable of saying his name. Short sentences are often best. "I was ditched." This is short and credible. This is the result of her fighting back (above)
Cosby said “I better never ever hear your name or see your face ever again.”
Note the narcissism. In quoting him, he remains only "Cosby", particularly here as he is shown as self important, so much so that he warns her that he had not even "hear" her name, as if somehow, he controlled the universe. Remember, this is her language; her perspective and it fits the perspective as one who is star struck, beneath a celebrity, and now discarded. Note that there is a change of pronoun use: he said these things to her, but when it came to housing, it was "they", indicating others backing what the celebrity mandated. The language remains consistent.
Q. How did you feel? this is a good question to ask, particularly at this point. Will the emotions, having long processed, indicate veracity?
I was afraid he could directly affect my career by blacklisting me in the casting world and labeling me a troublemaker. I had no idea what sort of repercussions I would be exposed to; I knew I could be shut up real quick, and it didn’t feel good. I was afraid he was going to hurt me. I was afraid that because of his power and influence I would never be believed. He was Dr. Huxtable at that time. Everyone revered Bill Cosby. He could do no wrong. He was America's dad...
Once again, as a celebrity, he is "Bill Cosby" and not "Cosby" Now note her emotions. Will they be 'personal'? This is very important in determining if she is truthful, or if this is personal revenge. Note the order: 1. affect my career by blacklisting me 2. label me a trouble makder 3. Repercussions 4. Being shut up. This is also the language of those sexually abused in childhood: having no voice, not being believed. Note that she does not include any personal hurt over rejection by him. This is not about revenge.
Q. Did you tell anyone?
I told a friend, who took me to a lawyer… He laughed me out of the office. He thought it was absolutely preposterous... He treated me as if I was delusional.
Straight forward language. Note "a" friend is unnamed, and "A" lawyer is as well. She withholds the names of both. With the lawyer, however, she adds that she was not only not believed, but to be mentally ill to make such an assertion. This is what she listed as being afraid of. This is another example of consistency in language.
Q. Why did you finally speak out?
I heard about [Constand’s] case on the news in 2004, when I was living in Phoenix. By then, I had been married for several years and had two young children at home This is a very typical pattern for adult female victims. Note how she marks time by her life's changes: marriage, and having children. Having two "young" children is mentioned specifically. This often triggers victims simply because they now consider what this treatment would be like if it happened to one of her own. Women who have been victimized sometimes do very well, for years, but when they have children of their own, triggers are set off. Here, we find that she doesn't simply say that she reached a certain age, instead marking time by the important events of marriage and childbearing. . It enraged me that they were painting such an ugly picture of her being a liar and a slut. Note the target of her anger: It is not Cosby It is not her career It is because another victim is not being heard and is being disparaged. "liar" making up allegations "slut" for having participated in the sexual activity. This was too close to home and it "enraged" her. It would be like being re-victimized by Cosby. She felt like a "liar and a slut" for her time spent with him, yet her language is void of personal connection to him; with heavy professional leanings. This indicates that if she is false in anything, it is in blaming herself. Victims of sexual abuse fear being labeled liars, promiscuous but also insane. Childhood sexual victims feel silenced. Many were threatened into silence, others were coerced into silence with, "you will destroy the family if you tell..." or "your father will go to prison. You don't want that to happen" This is done to children. It is something that adults could not bear up under, so one can only imagine the impact upon children. Children are stifled and need to be "heard." Adult victims need to be "heard" and not silenced by being accused of lying, or sexual promiscuity, or mental health issues. These are all ways in which voices are squelched. I went on a crusade to be heard--I started to call everybody I could possibly think of who would listen to me. Note how consistent her language is: she needs to be "heard", therefore, she seeks out someone who would "listen" to her. This is a consistent theme and speaks to veracity.
I reached Andrea’s lawyer and I found out that 12 other women were involved in this. "This" indicates closeness; while "that" is distancing language. At first, she recommended that we all stay Jane Does, and some girls preferred that, but I said, “Hell no--I have been hiding this--it has been a secret--for too long. I am not going to sit in silence anymore.” The request to remain "Jane Does" is to protect and embolden victims. Note that she negates this with the powerful word, "but" in the middle of the sentence. Note "hiding" and "secret" are related = veracity. We now continue to listen for "voice" and being "heard" We also listen for "attendant" crimes. Rape is not a singular action, but it is an action of violence; specifically, sexual violence, which then revictimizes repeatedly, through accusation, horror, memory, and other forms of "abuse", including emotional abuse. We listen to her language to see if the theme continues, or we encounter the "unexpected" as we do in deception:
I want to be the voice for women who are too afraid to speak up. Please compare the consistency of language with that of a false victim in "Fake Hate" (Charlie Rogers) If I show the courage, maybe that will encourage others to do the same thing. This man cannot get away with this. He cannot use his power and his money to abuse and rape young women and hide under this veil of wealth and celebrity status and intimidate us any longer. So I put my name out there. See the video of the 70+ year old Cosby and how he attempts to act intimidating and controlling. Now roll back the clock to a younger Crosby and a much younger woman, new to the celebrity world to get an idea just how intimidating he was and likely still is: "abuse and rape young women" is not just "rape" but "abuse" Note his use of "power and his money" to accomplish this and the opposite of disclosure and openness : "hide under this veil of wealth and celebrity status"
My only motivation was to support Andrea; my statute of limitations had long run out. There was nothing in it for me monetarily. It was strictly to have my voice heard and my story told.
It was also because I needed to heal. It is probably the biggest demon that I live with today. The words "my story" are not words we expect to hear from a victim of sexual assault close to the time of the assault; it is too painful to be a "story" yet as time passes, and the brain has had the ability to process it, and distance itself from it, the softer language enters. Years have passed by the time this interview has taken place. These are past tense, but she is speaking now, and I believe, based upon her language, that she, herself, needs to speak out now (new motives), due to helping others, but also for her own sanity. She "needed" to heal, yet she lives with the demon "today." This is consistently seen in her language.
Q. Were you disappointed that Andrea Constand took a settlement?
I was disappointed because I knew that would shut everybody else up, including Andrea. And although I am grateful she was able to have closure for her own growth, it sends the message to other victims that they can be shut up. For many victims of sexual abuse, not being heard is often listed as the greatest fear. This is from childhood right on up to adulthood. Not being "heard" is not simply silence, but not being believed, or being thought mentally ill. Note that the subject still finds reason to be positive: one victim was able to get closure. Yet, her concern is for other victims. Note the absence of any verbal indication of fame seeking. This is confirmed by the distancing language; the opposite of name dropping is the very avoidance of the name she is associated with. This is a name she is reluctant to use and when she does, she speaks as a victim with appropriate distancing language.
Q. Why do you think people find it so hard to believe celebrities can be sexual assaulters?
The media creates this idealized image of celebrities: that they are untouchable, that they’re not one of us... I don’t think people want to believe it; to believe would shatter the illusion.
The language is not only void of deceptive indicators, but is consistent with sexual abuse.
The subject is truthful. She is 46 years old, and still feeling the impact of not only the sexual abuse, but the betrayal and black listing. This is a truthful account by a truthful victim, who: did not have a romantic relationship with Cosby. Who was bullied into silence. Who has suffered for decades and continues to suffer. Who appears to finally be believed. She had her career destroyed and her life ruined more than she is willing to admit. Please see the short AP video of Cosby next, which is posted here. See if the aged Cosby is similar to what she described above.