Model Janice Dickinson has told a US jury that Bill Cosby raped her in 1982 after giving her a pill he claimed would ease her menstrual cramps but instead left her immobilised.
Dickinson, the fourth accuser to take the witness stand at Cosby’s sex assault retrial, told jurors she was “rendered motionless” by the pill as Cosby got on top of her in his hotel room in Lake Tahoe, California.
“Here’s a married man, father of five kids, on top of me,” Dickinson testified. “I was thinking how wrong it was. How very wrong it was.”
Dickinson, 27 at the time, said Cosby looked at her “like I was crazy” when she confronted him about what had happened.
“I wanted to hit him. I wanted to punch him in the face,” she said.
Dickinson, the former model and TV personality who has called herself the “world’s first supermodel,” became one of the first women to go public with her allegations against Cosby when she told her story on Entertainment Tonight in 2014.
She said she wrote about the assault in her 2002 autobiography, but Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove details.
During cross examination, a defence attorney seized on inconsistencies in Dickinson’s testimony and what she wrote in the book. Dickinson said she went along with what was written in the book because she needed the money.
She is one of five additional accusers whom prosecutors are calling to the stand to show Cosby had a history of drugging and molesting women.
The 80-year-old comedian is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. He says it was consensual. His first trial ended in a hung jury.
The defence has dismissed the other women’s testimony as “prosecution by distraction”.
“These women proved that they were here to back up their sister – they got their sister’s back,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said outside court on Thursday.
On the stand, Dickinson said she got to know Cosby after he called her agent and said he wanted to meet and possibly mentor her as she looked to expand her career into singing and acting. The first accuser to testify, Heidi Thomas, said she met Cosby the same way.
She said Cosby invited her to Lake Tahoe after an initial meeting at his New York City townhouse, where he had given her an acting manual. Cosby tracked her down to Bali, where she was modelling for an oil company calendar, and asked her to Lake Tahoe “to further talk about my career”.
“So, I was on the beach and I was thinking, ‘Why is this guy calling me?'” Dickinson said.
Cosby said he would foot the bill for her travel, Dickinson testified, but first wanted to do it cheaply – drawing a laugh from the courtroom crowd.
“He said, ‘Will you fly economy?’ And I said, ‘No, I will fly first class.’ He tried to get me to fly economy.”
Dickinson said Cosby had clothes from the hotel boutique laid out in her room because the T-shirts, shorts and swimwear she had in Bali would not cut it in snowy Tahoe.
Once at the hotel, she said she tested out her vocal range with Cosby’s musical director, watched Cosby perform and then joined the two men for dinner at the hotel.
She said that is where she started to get cramps, and that is when Cosby produced the pill.
“I mentioned it to the gentlemen at the table and Cosby said, ‘I have something for that.’ And I was given a blue pill,” Dickinson said. “It was a little round pill.”
Then she said “I started to feel woozy and dizzy. Slightly out of it.”
Cosby’s musical director left, Dickinson said, and Cosby told her: “We’ll continue this conversation upstairs.”
Dickinson had a Polaroid camera with her, she said, and snapped photos of Cosby in the room wearing a colourful robe and talking on the telephone. Soon after, she said, Cosby pounced on her.
“Shortly after I took the pictures and he finished the conversation, he got on top of me,” Dickinson said. “His robe opened up, and he smelled like cigars and espresso and his body odour. I couldn’t move.
“I didn’t fly to Tahoe to have sex with Mr. Cosby,” she said.