A former model told a jury on Thursday that Bill Cosby raped her in 1982 after giving her a pill he claimed would ease her menstrual cramps but instead left her immobilised and unable to stop an assault she called “gross”.
Janice Dickinson, the fourth of five accusers 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 Lake Tahoe, Nevada, hotel room. She said he smelled of cigars and espresso.
“I didn’t consent to this. Here was ‘America’s Dad’ on top of me. A married man, father of five kids, on top of me,” Dickinson said. “I was thinking how wrong it was. How very wrong it was.”
Dickinson, 27 at the time, testified she felt vaginal pain and, after waking up the next morning, noticed semen between her legs. She 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.
A former TV personality who has called herself the “world’s first supermodel,” Dickinson became one of the first women to go public with her allegations against Cosby when she told her story on the Entertainment Tonight TV show in 2014.
Another accuser, taking the witness stand after Dickinson, said Cosby prodded her to drink two shots in his Las Vegas hotel suite, then had her sit between his knees and started petting her head.
Lise-Lotte Lublin told jurors she lost consciousness and does not remember anything else about that night in 1989 – a time when Cosby was at the height of his fame starring as sweater-wearing father-of-five Dr Cliff Huxtable on America’s top-rated TV show, The Cosby Show.
“I trusted him because he’s ‘America’s Dad’,” Lublin said. “I trusted him because he’s a figure people trusted for many years, including myself.”
Dickinson and Lublin were among five additional accusers who prosecutors called to the stand to show Cosby had a history of drugging and molesting women long before he was charged with violating Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.
The 80-year-old comedian says his sexual encounter with Constand was consensual. His first trial ended in a hung jury.
The defense 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.
Dickinson, the only celebrity accuser to testify against Cosby, parried with defense attorneys who seized on discrepancies between her testimony and what she wrote about their encounter in her 2002 autobiography.
She told jurors she wanted to include details about the assault, but wound up telling a highly sanitized version in which there was no sex, let alone a rape, because her publisher said the legal department would never let the allegations against Cosby make it to print.
Dickinson said she went along because she needed the money and feared Cosby would ruin her career. “It’s all a fabrication there. It was written by ghostwriters. I wanted a paycheck.”
Dickinson testified 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, and asked her to Lake Tahoe.
In Tahoe, she tested her vocal range with Cosby’s musical director, watched Cosby perform and then joined the two men for dinner. She said that was where she started to get cramps and Cosby produced a little blue pill. She took it and soon became woozy and “slightly out of it”.
Cosby’s musical director left, Dickinson said, and Cosby told her: “We’ll continue this conversation upstairs.”
Dickinson had a camera with her, she said, and took photos of Cosby wearing a colourful robe and talking on the telephone.
“Shortly after I took the pictures and he finished the conversation, he got on top of me,” Dickinson said. “His robe opened up … I couldn’t move.
“I didn’t fly to Tahoe to have sex with Mr Cosby.”,” she said.
Prosecutors hope the five accusers’ testimony will help bolster Constand, the former women’s basketball administrator at Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University. Constand, who will take the stand later in the trial, alleges Cosby gave her pills and molested her. The defense says she set him up to score a big payday. Cosby settled her civil suit for $3.4m.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and the other women have done.