Bill Cosby accuser admits concocting story for memoir
Dominick Reuter/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Pa.) — In what could be a major blow to the prosecution’s sexual assault case against Bill Cosby, a former model and reality TV star admitted on the witness stand Thursday that she fabricated passages in a memoir — including a story of “rebuffing” the comedian’s advances.
Janice Dickinson took the witness stand in a Pennsylvania courtroom, testifying in Cosby’s retrial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Called by the prosecution, the 63-year-old Dickinson recounted a 1982 incident in a Lake Tahoe, California, hotel room, in which she says she was drugged and raped by Cosby.
“Here was ‘America’s Dad’ on top of me — a happily married man with five children,” Dickinson testified in Montgomery County Court in Norristown. “And I remember thinking how wrong it was — how very, very wrong.”
She told the jury that she passed out during the assault, saying, “It was gross.”
Dickinson said she confronted Cosby the day after the alleged assault, but he did not acknowledge it occurred.
“I wanted to hit him,” she testified. “I wanted to punch him in the face.”
Under cross-examination, Cosby’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, confronted Dickinson about her 2002 ghostwritten memoir, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel.”
Mesereau challenged Dickinson’s testimony, pointing out her description of the assault differed wildly from the Lake Tahoe encounter with Cosby she described in her memoir.
Holding up a copy of her book, Mesereau cited passages in which she described rebuffing Cosby’s advances in Lake Tahoe, then “popping two Quaaludes and going to sleep” alone in her own hotel room.
Dickinson acknowledged that she concocted stories in the book in order to get a much-needed paycheck.
“It’s all a fabrication there because I wanted the paycheck for my kids,” Dickinson testified, adding that her ghostwriter took “poetic license” with her life story.
Seizing on her answer, Mesereau replied, “So you made things up to get a paycheck?”
Appearing angry, Dickinson responded, “They weren’t there! And you weren’t there! And I’m telling the real story!”
She continued: “I put my hand on the Bible and I swore. I wasn’t under oath when I wrote the book.”
Earlier, during direct questioning, Dickinson testified that she decided to cut from her book the story of being sexually assaulted by Cosby after her publisher, Judith Regan, warned her it could ruin her career.
Cosby’s first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury could not reach a verdict.
The first trial hinged mostly on the testimony of one Cosby accuser, Andrea Constand, who says Cosby drugged her and violated her in 2004 at his home in suburban Philadelphia. Cosby has denied those charges and similar allegations made by other women.
While Constand is scheduled to testify in the retrial, the prosecution has been allowed to call five additional women, including Dickinson, who claim they were sexually assaulted by Cosby in an attempt prove a pattern of criminal conduct by the famous defendant.
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