Newsweek interviewed Tamara Green, one of 13 women who accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them in a civil lawsuit brought by Andrea Constand in 2004, and settled under undisclosed terms in 2006. Now, a second woman is speaking out: Barbara Bowman, a 46-year-old artist who says Cosby took her under his wing in the late ‘80s, when she was a teenager -- and repeatedly emotionally and physically abused her.
Both Bowman and Green joined the 2004 lawsuit as witnesses after hearing about it on television; neither had anything to gain financially, as the statute of limitations had expired for both of them.
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.
Is she telling the truth? Or, is there indication of deception within her answers?
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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...
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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. It enraged me that they were painting such an ugly picture of her being a liar and a slut. I went on a crusade to be heard--I started to call everybody I could possibly think of who would listen to me.
I reached Andrea’s lawyer and I found out that 12 other women were involved in this. 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.”
I want to be the voice for women who are too afraid to speak up. 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.
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.
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.
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.