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December 12, 2018

‘THE SAME STRUGGLE ALL OVER AGAIN’: Cosby accusers describe ‘whiplash’ week, starting with comic’s prison sentence, ending with Brett Kavanaugh

September 29, 2018
Bill Cosby is escorted out of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Tuesday in Eagleville, Pa., following his sentencing to of 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault. (Jacqueline Larma / AP)

It was a week of whiplash.

Bill Cosby’s accusers say they went from the high of seeing their assailant hauled off to prison Tuesday to the unexpected low of top senators publicly rejecting the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and advancing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination out of committee to a full Senate vote.




Accuser Lili Bernard, who has said she was drugged and raped by Bill Cosby in the 1990s, converses with a man outside Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on Monday.
Accuser Lili Bernard, who has said she was drugged and raped by Bill Cosby in the 1990s, converses with a man outside Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., on Monday. (Jacqueline Larma / AP)

“If they do confirm (Kavanaugh), I will look at this week like one step forward, one step back in terms of women’s rights,” Lili Bernard told the Daily News on Friday.

“It’s a roller coaster with the up and down,” she said.

Bernard attended Cosby’s sentencing in Pennsylvania Tuesday and said she felt like a “phoenix” after hearing the judge give him three to 10 years behind bars. Now the California mom, who says Cosby drugged and raped her in the early 1990s, is back in the trenches, she said.

“Tuesday was a celebratory moment, but now I’m going home to look up the names and phone numbers of these senators still on the fence, and I’m going to use whatever influence I might have to urge them to vote no on this confirmation,” Bernard said Friday.

A full senate vote on Kavanaugh is expected after the FBI reopens its investigation into Ford’s allegations and delivers an updated report in a matter of days. President Trump authorized the supplemental investigation Friday, saying it would be “limited” in scope and “completed in less than one week.”

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. (Saul Loeb / AP)

Accuser Sunni Welles also was at Cosby’s sentencing and said her worries about the Kavanaugh confirmation process dampened her high spirits as well.

“It feels like whiplash. It feels like a slap in the face. I’m just hoping more people than not realize how painful it is to come forward – that women with the courage to step forward should not be doubted,” the 70-year-old former model told The News.

Cosby accuser Sunni Welles, left, appears with attorney Gloria Allred during a press conference in Los Angeles on March 27, 2015.
Cosby accuser Sunni Welles, left, appears with attorney Gloria Allred during a press conference in Los Angeles on March 27, 2015. (Carlos Delgado / for New York Daily News)

Welles says she was a 17-year-old virgin in 1965 when Cosby drugged and raped her in Los Angeles.

“I feel for Dr. Hill tremendously. I remember Anita Hill. My heart broke for Anita Hill. My heart is breaking for Dr. Ford now. It’s sad that people are still asking women why they didn’t step forward sooner,” she said.

“When I heard Cosby’s sentence on Tuesday, I was crying. I was so relieved. I wanted to have a glass of wine, but then this (Kavanaugh) thing came on, and when (Republicans at first) refused to allow the FBI to investigate Dr. Ford’s claims, I just crashed again,” Cosby accuser P.J. Masten told The News.

“It’s the same struggle all over again. We deserve to be treated like equals, but they want us to crawl and grovel for equal rights and for our voices to be taken seriously,” she said. “This is ridiculous. I’m just very worked up over this.”

Masten, a resident of Lyndhurst, N.J., stepped forward in 2014 to say Cosby drugged and raped her in 1979 when she was working as a bunny manager at the Playboy Club in Chicago.

“I want Dr. Ford to know there’s an army behind her and she’s one of the bravest women ever to come forward. What does she have to gain by lying? Nothing. She is a true patriot,” Masten said.

Former Playboy bunny P.J. Masten says Bill Cosby drugged and raped her in 1979 when she was a bunny manager in Chicago.
Former Playboy bunny P.J. Masten says Bill Cosby drugged and raped her in 1979 when she was a bunny manager in Chicago. (Courtesy PJ Masten /)

Ford, a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine and married mother of two, testified Thursday that a drunken Kavanaugh held her down, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream at a high school party in 1982.




She is one of five women who have accused Kavanaugh of some form of sexual misconduct.

Cosby’s three accusers said despite the divisions now playing out in Congress, they’re optimistic overall.

“This was a lot to process in one week, but I think we’re chipping away. All of these discussions are really opening people’s eyes to how widespread sexual abuse really is,” Masten said.




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