Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Statement Analysis: Barbara Bowman

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.  


Anonymous said...

This is very moving and validating -- not only for victims of Cosby but for all victims of anybody in authority. I thiank her for speaking out - you for posting, and anybody for reposting this.

Anonymous said...

the part where she rides on the plane and tries to tell herselfit's all her imagination and she's lucky --- this is somehow the most painful for me -- the way abuse makes you stop thinking freely - makes you supress your true self for survival. once you supress part of your truth all your truth becomes under wraps. it's soul crushing, literally. may we all rise and overcome and may all those who take avdantage be exposed shamed and punished.

Anonymous said...


have you heard or the Lena Dunam "scandal"? I'd be really interested to hear what this blog thinks.. she is the star and creater of the HBO show Girls. she wrote a biography that was just published and in it she talks about giving her little sister candy to get her to kiss her on the mouth and also opening her vagina -- just super creepy stuff. some people are saying -- that's sex abuse you are remeniscing about -- and Lena's saying -- well she's claioming it's not in her case because her family was cool with it. -- she's a celebrity -- I'd be interested in what people think.

Apple said...

" 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"

She says "the conference room" at a nightclub. That is making it personal, right?

John Mc Gowan said...

None of the abuse or drugging happened until I was 18

She introduces the word "drugging". This is for me vital information. It is not reflective language and is not previously been introduced.

Subjective internal dictionary (SID) this is lost, and not picked up by whomever is talking to her. It may yield valuable information, if asked, what her interpretation is, of "drugging" ?

Polo said...

FYI - Today Bill Cosby launched a twitter account and asked people to meme him. This backfired terribly as most of the posters talked about the sexual assault accusations. The account was taked down quite quickly. (I'm not sure I'm using the correct terminology as I do not do Twitter and haven't looked up what meme is. :)

Anonymous said...


some cosby memes - yay internet.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's so sick and crazy how he created such a "wholesome" character to play on the Cosby Show, but he's really a rapist.

impulsive said...

Thank you Peter! I agree after reading the interview I felt that she was absolutely being honest - it's nice to see an interview/quote where someone is not being deceptive once in a while!
Also: @anon 1:53 I agree - that Lena Dunham thing is very creepy/yucky! and I would like to read Peter's thoughts on it, too.

John Mc Gowan said...

Rape allegations won't go away for Bill Cosby


John Mc Gowan said...


(CNN) -- It was not the sort of meme Bill Cosby wanted to generate.
On Monday, the comedian -- or whomever was in charge of his social media -- put out a challenge with a jovial picture of Cosby in a cap: "Go ahead. Meme me! #cosbymeme."

The Internet immediately reacted, but probably not in the way Cosby expected.

Bill Cosby: Evolution of an icon Bill Cosby: Evolution of an icon
"Claire, have you seen my ... nevermind, found my raping hat!" tweeted Trill Withers over the cap picture.

"My two favorite things (--) Jell-O pudding & rape," tweeted E.J. Coughlin over a photo of Cosby smiling.
"Look at this wacky shirt I'm wearing (--) also I am a serial rapist," tweeted Jason Steele over a picture of a thumbs-up Cosby in a patterned shirt.

By nightfall, Cosby's original tweet had been pulled from the Web, which led to this conclusion from Jensen Karp: "If anyone is looking for a job, the Social Media Manager position for @BillCosby is about to open up."

But if Cosby's social media manager has gone underground, in the Internet age -- where nothing ever goes away -- the rape allegations, which Cosby has repeatedly denied, have stubbornly remained in the open.
In late October, comedian Hannibal Buress bluntly attacked what he perceived as Cosby's "smuggest old black man public persona" by saying, "Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches. 'I don't curse onstage.' Well, yeah, you're (a) rapist, so I'll take you saying lots of m*****f*****s on 'Bill Cosby: Himself' if you weren't a rapist."
A couple weeks later, Cosby was booked on Queen Latifah's talk show, but the allegations reportedly gave the staff "cold feet," according to TMZ. Cosby's booking was "postponed at his request," the website reported in an addendum. (Cosby did do interviews with Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon without incident.)

John Mc Gowan said...


Now comes the social media fiasco.
For years, Cosby has denied the rape allegations. In February, after Newsweek ran an interview with one of the purported victims, Tamara Green, Cosby's representative said, "This is a 10-year-old, discredited accusation that proved to be nothing at the time, and is still nothing."
Nine years ago, when Green was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the "Today" show, his lawyer issued a statement: "Miss Green's allegations are absolutely false. Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Green or (maiden name) Tamara Lucier and the incident she describes did not happen. The fact that she may have repeated this story to others is not corroboration."
In the case of Andrea Constand, who sued Cosby in 2005 over an incident the year before, Cosby says the sex was consensual.
CNN has reached out to Cosby's representative for comment on this story, but has yet to hear back.

Lawsuit airs allegations
At the time of Constand's lawsuit, Cosby had been in the news for a sexual affair once before. In 1997, a woman named Autumn Jackson claimed to be Cosby's love child. Cosby admitted to a relationship with Jackson's mother but denied paternity. Jackson was later convicted of extortion.
However, it wasn't until Constand's lawsuit in 2005 that the comedian was accused of rape.
Constand, a staffer for Temple University's women's basketball team, said in her suit that Cosby -- a Temple alum -- had become a mentor to her in the months since they met in 2002. In early 2004, he invited her to his house in suburban Philadelphia. Constand told Cosby she was feeling stressed and Cosby gave her three blue pills, which he described as "herbal medication," according to her suit, which was posted on The Smoking Gun.
Then, her "knees began to shake, her limbs felt immobile, she felt dizzy and weak, and she began to feel only barely conscious," the suit continued. Cosby then gave her another drug, she said, and led her to the sofa, where she says she was sexually molested.
"When Plaintiff awoke, her clothes and undergarments were in disarray," the suit said.
Constand later returned to her native Canada, where she reported the incident to police. Authorities in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, followed up with an investigation, but at the end of February declined to press criminal charges due to a lack of evidence.
Cosby's lawyer, Walter M. Phillips Jr., told CNN the allegations were "utterly preposterous" and "plainly bizarre," but Cosby later acknowledged his role in the situation.
"Looking back on it, I realize that words and actions can be misinterpreted by another person, and unless you're a supreme being, you can't predict what another individual will do," he told the National Enquirer in March 2005. "I'm not saying that what I did was wrong, but I apologize to my loving wife, who has stood by my side for all these years, for any pain I have caused her. These allegations have caused my family great emotional stress."
Constand filed her civil suit in March 2005. Constand's lawyers said they found 13 Jane Doe witnesses with similar stories. However, Constand's suit was settled in November 2006, and the witnesses were never called. Terms have not been disclosed.

John Mc Gowan said...


Tarnished reputation
As Mark Whitaker's recent Cosby biography makes clear, the man has his demons. He had affairs while on the road and there have been bumps in his long marriage to his wife, Camille.
The influence of Bill Cosby
But Whitaker, a former CNN managing editor, told CNN that he didn't feel comfortable airing the rape allegations.
"Basically, I knew that I was going to have to be very careful in what I said about his private life. I felt that way as a journalist and also for legal reasons," he said in an interview about the biography.
"In the case of these other allegations, basically because there were no definitive court findings, no independent witnesses, it didn't meet my standard for what I was going to put in the book."
"I also was very aware that if I just did a she said-he said, and I printed allegations and denials without my own independent reporting, first of all it's not really in the spirit in the book, but also every person who then reviewed or reported on the book would be free to repeat those unconfirmed allegations just because they were in my book. And I just didn't feel comfortable being responsible for that."
Still, the rape allegations are always just a mouse click away.
Not long after Constand's accusations hit the media, Tamara Green went public with her claims on "Today." A few months later, another Jane Doe, Beth Ferrier, also spoke out. A third woman, Barbara Bowman, came forward in 2006. Green and Bowman both gave interviews to Newsweek in early 2014.
How all the controversy has affected Cosby personally is unknown. He's still scheduled to star in an NBC sitcom next year, and his skills as a comedian appear undiminished. Last year's concert movie, "Far From Finished," earned mostly positive reviews, and his recent comedy tour has also received praise. On Saturday night, he appeared at the New York Comedy Festival and played to an appreciative crowd.
"Over the course of a non-stop two hours, he proves himself yet again to be an extraordinarily skilled storyteller, a performer who is acutely aware of his audience and in full of control of the room from start to finish," wrote the Guardian's Elise Czajkowski.
But his once-sterling reputation has taken a hit. The Washington Post, Salon and The New York Times have all mentioned the rape allegations in stories, criticizing Cosby to varying degrees.
And comedian Buress, who later talked about the Cosby allegations on Howard Stern's radio show, said at a St. Louis show that he had asked fellow comedian Dave Chappelle for advice. Chappelle told Buress to talk to Cosby, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
But then Chappelle watched the Buress video.
Maybe it's not a good idea after all, he said.


Kellie said...

This poor woman even felt controlled by her agent as she says, "I was told that he wanted to scout some new talent..." and "I was told that Bill wanted to get to know me..." Makes me think - agent + Bill Cosby - hmmm, birds of a feather!

He is no different than any other sexually abusive parent. In fact that is the role he took on in this woman's life, parent, and then groomed her for the kill! What a b*&^%$#! And to me he looks the part too.

Anonymous said...

Simple logic; had the young girl not been so young and naïve, she or a mature advisor would have realized that no successful and powerful celebrity runs around the country interviewing, teaching and mentoring new and up-and-coming unskilled actors without an ulterior motive. Producers call their talent agency when they are looking for new talent and their agent brings in fresh auditioning talent to the studio to be auditioned.

Big league actors and actresses have well-known agents standing in line with qualified and well-trained actors waiting for a chance to audition for shows like the Cosby Show. They don't need to line up unknowns for 'special' personal and costly meetings all around the country in hotel rooms with lead actors such as Bill Cosby. That right there says it all; couch-casting hanky-panky at its' dirtiest.

Without any thought to what the young lady might be subjected too, the talent scout turned a blind eye and participated in setting up these private meetings playing along with the game and hoping to come out with a big percentage should she land a 'hypothetical' part on his show; or in fact, could have had his palm greased by Bill Cosby for sending the girl to him in the first place. Let the chips fall where they may. They did.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

excellent work, John

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I wondered what readers would think after reading this, and then the Canadian politician's statement.

trustmeigetit said...

Anon said

"no successful and powerful celebrity runs around the country interviewing, teaching and mentoring new and up-and-coming unskilled actors without an ulterior motive."

Excellent point.

Just like Michael Jacksom and McCullay.

trustmeigetit said...

Society needs to stop treating actors, singers, athletes like they are above us.

It's just their job.

They are allowed to do as they please because in general they are considered better.

If the last few years have taught us one thing it's that these people are no better and often worse.

Anonymous said...

Lena Dunham was SEVEN years old wen she did this to her sister.
It is a non-story.

Kellie said...

I don't think Lena Dunham considers it a "non-story" since she wrote a book about it!

I'm sure many children experiment sexually, but I'm not sure many of them reflect on it and view themselves as a predator and use terms like grooming. Those were her words. All anyone has done is quote her. Most authors would welcome that. Don't you find it odd that she is upset by it?

MaryK said...

Wow, I used to read your blog, Peter but haven't in quite awhile. I thought of you today about Bill Cosby and was curious to see what you thought. I don't understand the perp and the victim especially in this specific interview. It's like deep down she really knows what's going on, but wants the career more than her own self-respect. BC does sound like a predator but she enabled him by going back time and time again for more! That's the part I will never understand. I understand trying to report it and dropping it when you are not believed. That I get. But to keep going back. Does she not realize that gave him the green light to keep going? Thanks for the thorough anaylsis.

Anonymous said...

I relate so much to this comment in so many ways. So true.

jessica rivera said...

Her sister was ONE years old though. And Lena Dunham states in that book that those behaviours continued for some time, she just didn't say how long. It is not a "non-story" at all.

jessica rivera said...

Okay theres clearly a whole plethora of social and moral issues that you also "dont understand" along with the part about you perceiving the victim as an enabler...