Former I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Janice Dickinson has claimed veteran comic Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her in the 1980s, then forced her to remove details of the alleged attack from her autobiography years later.
The legendary entertainer’s past has gained attention in recent weeks after another comic, Hannibal Buress, called him a “rapist” during a Philadelphia performance. Two other women have also emerged as accusers, including Barbara Bowman, who wrote an online Washington Post piece.
Cosby, 77, has remained silent, and his lawyer, John Schmitt, issued a statement on Sunday saying his client would not dignify “decade-old, discredited” claims of sexual abuse with a response.
Now 59-year-old model and TV host Dickinson has said she was assaulted by Cosby in Lake Tahoe, California, where he was appearing, in 1982.
She told the TV news magazine Entertainment Tonight she wrote about the alleged assault in her 2002 autobiography, No Lifeguard On Duty: The Accidental Life Of The World’s First Supermodel, but Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the details.
Dickinson, who appeared on the I’m A Celebrity jungle show in 2007, said she met Cosby in Lake Tahoe at his urging after he said he would help her with her singing career. They had met earlier when her agent had introduced them, hoping that she could get a job on The Cosby Show.
She told Entertainment Tonight that after dinner, she and Cosby were in her hotel room and he gave her some red wine and a pill she had asked for because she had been suffering stomach pains.
“The next morning I woke up and I wasn’t wearing my pyjamas and I remembered before I passed out I had been sexually assaulted by this man,” she said. She said she remembered Cosby dropping the robe he had been wearing and getting on top of her.
She said she never confronted Cosby about the incident, but added: “I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do and this happened to me and this is a true story.”
In her book, Dickinson described stopping at his hotel room door when he invited her in after dinner. She declined, claiming exhaustion.
“After all I’ve done for you, that’s what I get?” Dickinson quoted Cosby as saying. He then “gave me the dirtiest, meanest look in the world, stepped into his suite, and slammed the door in my face”, she wrote.
Cosby, who was never criminally charged in any case, settled a civil suit with another woman in 2006 over an alleged incident two years before.
Meanwhile Netflix says it is postponing Cosby’s upcoming stand-up comedy special, Bill Cosby 77, following the accusations.