The Bill Cosby sexual-assault scandal took an eye-opening turn this week when it was revealed that Cosby once admitted to acquiring quaaludes, a popular ’70s recreational drug, with the intent of giving the pills to young women he hoped to have sex with.
In a 2005 court deposition obtained by the Associated Press, Cosby replied “yes” when asked if he had planned to use the powerful sedative on women, and admitted giving the drug to at least one woman before sex. He was subsequently asked if he’d given anyone quaaludes without their knowledge, at which point Cosby’s attorney interrupted and instructed him not to answer. Cosby was being deposed during a lawsuit filed by a woman who accused him of sexually abusing her after drugging her with Benadryl. He settled the suit the following year for undisclosed terms.
More than 30 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them over the past 40 years, with several stating that Cosby drugged them beforehand. Cosby has maintained his innocence throughout and has never been formally charged with a crime.
Many celebrities have condemned Cosby, from Jay Leno to Roseanne Bar to Samuel L. Jackson, and after decades of relative ambivalence, public opinion seems to be turning against the comedian. Even singer Jill Scott, who has supported Cosby through past allegations, went back on her previous stance, tweeting yesterday, “I stood by a man I respected and loved. I was wrong. It HURTS!!! When you get it ALL right, holla.”
Some Hollywood stars remain steadfast in their loyalty to Cosby. On daytime talk show The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg responded to the AP’s revelations by saying she doesn’t make “snap judgements.” Fellow co-host Raven-Symoné, who co-starred with Cosby as a child on his eponymous show, tiptoed around the topic saying that she doesn’t “like to talk about it much because he’s the reason I’m on this panel in the first place, he gave me my first job.”
During a CNN segment, one of Cosby’s most vocal accusers, Barbara Bowman, referred to the deposition as a “game-changer.”
She added, “I think we’re going to be heard now, and I think this is just the beginning.”