NORRISTOWN, PA — Former model Janice Dickinson told a jury Thursday, April 12, that Bill Cosby raped her in 1982 at a Lake Tahoe hotel room.
Dickinson said the assault occurred after Cosby her a pill he claimed would ease her menstrual cramps, but instead left her immobilized and unable to stop an assault she called “gross.”
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 “Entertainment Tonight” 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 doesn’t 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 whom 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 Thursday outside court.
Dickinson, the only celebrity accuser to testify against Cosby, parried with defense attorneys who seized on discrepancies between her testimony Thursday 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 at all, let alone a rape, because her publisher told her 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,” she said.
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 modeling for an oil company calendar, and asked her to Lake Tahoe “to further talk about my career.”
In Tahoe, 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’s where she started to get cramps, and that’s when 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 Polaroid camera with her, she said, and snapped photos of Cosby in the room wearing a colorful robe and talking on the telephone. Then Cosby pounced.
“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 $3.4 million.
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.
The South Tahoe Public Utility District board of directors will be having a meeting May 3 from 6-7:30pm about the next fiscal budget. It will be in the board room at 1275 Meadow Crest Drive, South Lake Tahoe. The purpose of the meeting is to review the proposed 2018-19 budget, and 10-year financial and capital […]
Mold found at the former Kingsbury Middle School site has put what officials hope is only a minor obstacle into the process of selling the parcel. “The board adopted a resolution (April 10) which authorized me to work with our buyer to address the findings of mold in the building. We hope to have those […]
Diamond Peak is encouraging visitors to “wear your tropical tees for closing weekend and join us to say aloha and cheers to a great season.”
The resort is offering happy hour drink specials starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Deals include $3 beers, $3 house wine and $4 cocktails. All draft beers will be $3 all day long on closing day.
Diamond Peak will have live music on both days: Maggie’s Farm will play 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Truckee Tribe will close out the season from 3-6 p.m. Sunday.
In light of it being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is hosting an all-new event in support of the cause and nonprofit Live Violence Free's campaign to promote a violence-free community.
On Saturday, April 14, the South Shore-based resort opens the doors to its Vinyl venue for the first-ever Battle of the Girl Bands.
"Guests will be able to watch as several female-led bands battle against each other to help raise awareness and bring the community together for an electrifying, music-filled evening," states a press release from Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
But that's not all the night has in store.
"Before and during the event, guests will be able to bring or purchase a clothing item to decorate with an empowering message, which will be strung throughout the venue to support the cause," continues the release.
Doors open at 8 p.m. for the 8:30 p.m. show. Tickets cost $15 and are available through the venue's website (www.hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com), where additional information can be found.
All proceeds benefit a local Lake Tahoe shelter, according to the site.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is located at 50 U.S. 50 in Stateline.
At least one Lake Tahoe ski resort is reporting over ½ a foot of snow in less than 24 hours.
Sierra-at-Tahoe said the storm that moved through the region late Wednesday and early Thursday dumped 8 inches of new snow. Snow totals from other South Shore resorts were not immediately available Thursday morning.
The fresh powder comes just as Sierra-at-Tahoe plans to wind down the 2017-18 season this weekend. Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village and Northstar California also plan to close after this coming weekend.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort closed for the season after this past weekend. Heavenly Mountain Resort will stop the chair lifts after Sunday, April 22.
A few scattered snow showers remain possible at Lake Tahoe Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation in South Lake Tahoe, which is expected to see a high temperature of 34 degrees Thursday.
Sunny conditions with high temperatures in the 50s are expected Friday and Saturday.
The Tahoe Women's Community Fund recently announced its grant recipients for the 2018 cycle.
The nonprofit had over 25 organizations apply for grants. With a total of $68,000 available this cycle, the Women's Community Fund was able to award grants to more than 13 nonprofits on South Shore, according to a press release. Project summaries for each grant recipient can be found at tahoewomenscommunityfund.org.
To honor the recipients and all grant applicants, the Women's Fund will host a gala on Wednesday, May 16, from 6-9 p.m. at the Tahoe Beach Retreat. Tickets are available at tahoewomenscommunityfund.org for $35.
The following organizations (grouped by topic) received grant funding:
Focus Grant Recipients in the category of Poverty & Housing:
Live Violence Free ($10,000) for the Supportive Housing Program for Victims of Abuse
Bread and Broth for Kids ($10,000) for the Weekend Food Program
SOS Outreach ($10,000) for the Progressive Outdoor Leadership Program
Focus Grant Recipients in the category of Children and Youth
Family Resource Center ($7,500) for the Leadership Starts Now Project for at-risk Youth
LTUSD Elementary Schools ($10,000) for the We Care Program
Assistance League Sierra Foothills ($2,500) for Clothing Kids with Confidence
Impact Grant Recipients in the category of Mental Health & Wellness:
Sierra Child & Family Services ($3,000) for the Peer Support Project
Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra ($3,000) for the Drug Store Project
Impact Grant Recipients in the category of Education & Literacy:
Boys & Girls Club of SLT ($3,000) for the Reading Intervention Program
SLT Library ($3,000) for the Digital Access Library Cards for 6th graders Program
Impact Grant Recipients in the category of Community and Environment:
Tahoe Institute of Natural Resources ($2,228) for Environmental Education Experiences
Lake Tahoe Shining Stars ($3,000) for the Bijou Ballet Club
Tahoe Rim Trail Association ($772) for the Stewardship Support Program
The city of South Lake Tahoe is in need of two new members for its planning commission.
The openings follow resignations from commissioners Jamie Orr and Jesse Dwyer, both of whom moved outside city limits, making them ineligible for the commission.
"It has been a pleasure serving for the past year and working closely with city staff and my fellow commissioners," Orr wrote in a resignation letter to council. "I am thankful for the confidence of the members of city council in appointing me to this role and hope that I have fulfilled my duties to the residents of the city."
Dwyer, who is moving out of the country, shared similar sentiments in his resignation letter.
"The theme of the resignation is just one of gratitude: I learned so much in this short time from you and Kevin [Fabino] and others, and the example you set is nothing short of inspiring."
City Clerk Susan Alessi will be accepting applications for the two open seats until Tuesday, April 24, with City Council expected to make the appointments at its May 1 meeting.
Applications can be picked up at the clerk's office at 1901 Airport Road between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications can be emailed, mailed or faxed upon request to the clerk's office. Completed applications must be returned no later than 5 p.m., on April 24.
Contact Alessi at 530-542-6004 for more information.