While Bill Cosby's sexual assault scandal continues to play out in the media, former supermodel Beverly Johnson is speaking out on the latest developments.
Johnson, best known as the first black woman to cover Vogue, is just one of more than two dozen women who have come forward with allegations against the comedian in recent years. The 62-year-old star recalled her encounter with Cosby in a 2014 tell-all essay for Vanity Fair, in which she claimed he drugged her in the mid-1980s.
Her account was largely met by praise, but also, criticism from Cosby supporters.
With this week's revealing of Cosby's 2005 admission to drugging women for sex, Johnson has stepped back into the spotlight to address the findings and share her hope for the future. She told PEOPLE in a statement:
"It is unfortunate the amount of proof required to make a woman's voice valid. In the past year of this conversation around Bill Cosby's actions against many women, including myself, the most unfortunate thing is the lesson we are teaching children about the worth of a woman's body. I don't know if every woman who has been sexually attacked and comes forward will be one of the many – or one who stands on her own. But as this conversation on Cosby's actions continues, I hope that anyone with kids is thinking of teaching them that no one has the right to another's body or sexuality. Not every attacker is going to be someone who is lurking in the alley or an unattractive character. It is as likely that someone who is charismatic and successful will decide to do something heinous. We must ask ourselves if the lesson we want to teach our kids is that, again, a woman's voice and body are not valuable or precious or valid. I know my truth, and I hope for a society that is sensitive to the protection of women, regardless of the stakes. I hope, as we live in a time in our nation where conversations on race, sexuality and gender are at hand, that we have the difficult conversations with our friends and family so that it is commonplace to defend everyone's right to be protected from all predators, no matter their status or accomplishments. I hope that the lesson is that rape and any form of sexual assault is wrong, that silencing women's voices is wrong and that protecting a predator over the assaulted for the sake of protecting power is devastating."
Since the unsealing of the court documents, the LAPD has confirmed it's conducting at least one criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Cosby. Additionally, the comedian has been hit with another civil lawsuit from the accuser mentioned in the documents.
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