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Beverly Johnson: Bill Cosby Took My Power When He Drugged Me, “I Felt It Would Hurt My Career”

Beverly Johnson and Bill Cosby
Beverly Johnson gave further details about Bill Cosby allegedly drugging her in the mid-'80s in an interview with the Today show; "I felt it would hurt my career"

Beverly Johnson isn't backing down. After claiming in a Vanity Fair essay that she was drugged by Bill Cosby in the mid-'80s, the supermodel and actress gave more details about the horrific night to the Today show.

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"I was totally helpless. I was on the verge of passing out. I knew that I was going to be unconscious," Johnson, 62, said to Tamron Hall on the phone on Thursday, Dec. 12. "I most certainly didn't think of my legacy as being the first African-American model to grace the cover of Vogue and drugged by Bill Cosby."

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Johnson alleged in VF that she was drugged by the legendary comedian at his New York home back in 1986. Auditioning for a small role on The Cosby Show at the time, she obliged when Cosby offered her a cup of cappuccino.

"I immediately felt something from the first sip and it was almost like I didn't really believe it so I took another sip," she told Hall. "And it wasn't long after that that I knew I was drugged. The room started to spin a little bit and I began to get woozy."

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Johnson says she went into "survival mode" at his residence, making Cosby, now 77, so angry that he hailed a taxi for her to go home. But only now is she revealing why she truly didn't come forward when the incident first occurred nearly three decades ago.

"At the time I felt it would hurt my career," Johnson explained. "He was a very powerful man."

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So far, more than two dozen women have come forward accusing Cosby of sexual assault, including Johnson's model friend Janice Dickinson, and actresses Barbara Bowman and Michelle Hurd, who also believed that Cosby would help them with their careers.

"I want to stand with these women that have come out. I want a platform for 1 out of 6 women that get assaulted," Johnson said on Today. "This is bigger than Bill Cosby. This is about women and violence against women. This is about women finding their voice. I feel that Cosby took my power that evening and that I took my power back."

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