What was supposed to happen between Bill Cosby and the women who are suing him?

The New York Times tells us that President Obama is now opining on the propriety of drugging women and then having sex with them (“Asked About Cosby Scandal, Obama Weighs in on a Sexual Violence Discussion”). Now that the President is engaged on this issue, I have a question: Has anyone explained what was supposed to have happened in an ideal world? A rich married guy was in a hotel room alone with a younger woman and … then what?


  • Domestic Violence chapter of Real World Divorce
  • review of Missoula
  • review of Cosby: His Life and Times (“What about the fact that the 500 pages of the book teach us less about the accusations of sexual assault against Cosby than does a casual visit to Wikipedia? To my mind that means we can’t accept this book as a definitive guide to Bill Cosby as a human being, but the book remains a definitive guide to his professional accomplishments.”)

25 thoughts on “What was supposed to happen between Bill Cosby and the women who are suing him?

  1. As a young man I was once in a hotel room with a rich married woman. I helped her with her computer, she pointed out some truths about life and about the careers I was considering. I left.

    I am not sure what your question is. Are you of the mind that if there is a young woman in a hotel room with a married man (not all of the women were in that situation), they are going to have sex?

    And therefore if they are going to have sex he might as well drug the woman and have the sex in (for him?) a more convenient, exciting manner?

    I’m pretty sure married guys (rich or not) and young (or old) women (married or not) have sex in hotel rooms all the time. And often meet in hotel rooms and don’t have sex. When they do have sex I like to think there would be consent involved on both sides, not just on the side of the guy with the money and the knockout drugs.

  2. So… the women thought that they were going to help a rich married guy with some Macintosh operating system questions?

  3. I believe they were usually both involved in the entertainment industry. One can imagine that they would have a discussion about that.

    And it was back in my ms-dos days. And the command.com replacement 4dos. The short period of time when one could be a wizard just by reading a manual.

  4. Seriously, Phil? Even if the women thought they might have to have sex with Cosby to get what they wanted out of him (acting roles, advice, whatever), drugging them and having sex with them is still rape. The fact that you are apparently equating voluntary sex to get something from Cosby with passed out drugged sex with him (which presumably none of them would consent to) is pretty disgusting.

  5. Colin, Bill: It is noble of you guys to stand up and argue against my advocacy of drugging people and then raping them, but I am not sure how you found that in the original posting.

    My original question remains… who were these women, what were they doing with Bill Cosby, and what was the planned activity? [I am genuinely curious, not having followed any of the news on this matter.]

  6. (Separately, at least in the eyes of a former federal judge and current Harvard Law School professor, being drugged or unconscious is not material to the question of a woman consenting. Here’s Nancy Gertner: What is troubling to me is that so many of the problems are taking place because women feel so oppressed that they cannot consent willingly. Sexual violence is one thing, alcohol is one thing, but then there is “I think I have to say yes, because otherwise I’ll be embarrassed” [or] “I won’t be popular.”

    Affirmative consent doesn’t help with that. All of that sense of sexual coercion that still exists is societal. We have sexual freedom in the midst of profound inequality. What is it that enables women on the one hand to talk about sexual freedom—I can dress any way I want, I can have whatever drugs I want—but on the other hand to feel oppressed by the systems of power that make them feel they have to say yes? (from https://yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/4105/the-toughest-issue-on-i-any-i-campus?page=2 )

    In other words, a woman who is unconscious cannot consent because she cannot speak. But on the other hand a woman who is conscious cannot consent in a willing or meaningful manner because she is oppressed.)

  7. Sure, some of them met with Cosby to have sex (naturally they won’t say so) in exchange for what they thought would be more than they actually got (didn’t even get the memories, they claim). And one assumes some of the complaints made *after* the initial publicity are false. But aren’t there enough accusations in total, from known people (not crazy nobodies) specifically claiming drug-spiked glasses of wine, rather than consensual pill popping, that we have to take this pretty seriously? (yes, passing out from alcohol alone is 10000x more frequent than passing out from pill-spiked alcohol. but cosby would be a good candidate for suspicion of having slid down an ‘i can get away with this’ slope).

  8. Jonathan: I was not offering an opinion on the truth of the allegations being made, nor on the reprehensibility of any conduct, alleged or actual, nor even on the question of whether or not anyone needs to “take this seriously.” I was merely asking if anyone knows what was supposed to have happened. There have been news reports of women being drugged and raped. If that was not the agreed-upon plan, as seems likely, then what was the agreed-upon plan?

  9. Cosby did NOT say that he drugged these women without their knowledge.

    This was the full interchange:

    Lawyer: When you got the quaaludes [in the 1970s], was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”

    Cosby : “Yes”.

    Despite the esteemed legal pronouncements of our President today, this does not seem like an admission of rape to me. Cosby does not say that he gave these drugs to women without their knowledge or consent. He doesn’t even say that he actually gave them to anyone, just that he procured them with that plan in mind.

  10. Izzie: This isn’t terribly helpful since it is only from one side’s perspective. The married rich guy says that perhaps the plan was to hang out in a hotel room, mellowed out 1970s-style with some Qaaludes and a Seals & Crofts 8-track, and have sex. But what do the women say their plans and expectations were?

  11. Well I think it is helpful because the takeaway in the media, from the President on down, is “Cosby admitted to rape”, when in fact what he was admitting to was probably more like what you said. In fact Cosby doesn’t even say WHO was going to consume the quaaludes – himself or the women (or both). No way would his lawyer have allowed him to waive his 5th Amendment rights and confess to the crime of rape in a deposition.

    That doesn’t mean that he didn’t rape them but it is far from a confession that he did.

    As far as the women go, I am reading a book now entitled The Invisible Woman, by Claire Tomalin (after having seen the movie of the same title – movie is recommended). The book tells the story of Nelly Ternan, an actress who was the mistress of Charles Dickens starting in the 1850s, when Dickens was in his mid 40s and Nelly was 18. The book is not recommended – it really drags on. I’m about 1/3 of the way thru the book and Nelly hasn’t even met Charles yet, though I’ve learned about her parents and grandparents). Anyway, my point is that “the casting couch” is not a recent invention and methinks these women doth protest too much that they were visiting Cosby’s hotel room for “business discussions”.

    My favorite casting couch story involves Shirley Temple and Arthur Freed (who was a big MGM honcho who did all the ’30s musicals). According to Temple’s obituary, when aged twelve she was interviewed by Freed with a view to transferring her career to MGM (Temple’s movie career fizzled the instant she hit puberty). During the interview he unzipped his trousers and exposed himself to her. “Being innocent of male anatomy, she responded by giggling, and he threw her out of his office.” Freed probably thought that Temple was not impressed by his anatomy. The story is credible because Temple was a twelve year old girl in a more innocent age, but the women who were involved with Cosby could not claim that level of ignorance.

    I know that it’s feminist dogma that women don’t deserve to be raped just because they place themselves in a vulnerable position and that women never lie about rape, but are we really required to suspend all skepticism and take everything that a woman says at face value (even if the women in question stand to gain millions of $)? As we saw in the Jackie at U Va case and in the Duke lacrosse case, this lack of skepticism can backfire.

  12. Hi Phil,

    You can find an alphabetical list of accusers here: http://starcasm.net/archives/306591

    …many did not involve a rich man and a woman in a hotel room — many do not involve a hotel room, and one of them involves a rich man and a 15-year-old — and not all of them involve drugging and raping. There are 45 women. The circumstances vary from woman to woman, but the drugging and the sex are common to about half… sexual assault of some other kind to the other half.

    You can follow the links, or Google the names, to find what they were supposed to be doing… meeting modeling agents via Bill Cosby, attending a family dinner party with family and Bill Cosby, visiting Bill Cosby in his home to talk about career advice, auditioning for a part on the Cosby show with Bill Cosby… you can spend hours on this.

  13. “But on the other hand a woman who is conscious cannot consent in a willing or meaningful manner because she is oppressed.)”

    Again, this is nothing new, this is just a feminist spin on Marxism. Marx taught that the worker was oppressed, so that he was incapable of striking a fair deal to sell his labor. Only when the conditions of society were completely overturned would the worker receive the value that he deserved for his efforts. Halfway measures such as unionization or minimum wage laws were just patches on a fundamentally flawed system. The real solution is the Revolution, where the current system is turned completely upside down.

    If you substitute “women” for workers and “men” for capitalists, you have modern feminism.

  14. Thanks, Jacob. That link and your summary are by far the most helpful information items thus far in this thread. I guess this leads to a follow-up question: How was it that Cosby was able to join the rather exclusive crowd in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom_recipients ? Is there no background check for potential honorees? 45 women plus anyone else who might have been with them shortly before or after seems like a lot of people to keep a secret.

  15. In an ideal world women would not have been raped and they also would not have made up rape stories.

  16. In the entertainment industry, hotel rooms are where business gets done. That particular component isn’t damning.

    Cosby was an icon of his era, and always had a reputation as a paternal figure who took interest in the success of younger black people in his industry. Many of those younger people would have been female. I’m trying to remember if there were any non-male analogues to Cosby in the 70s and 80s who might have been a better choices as mentors.

    It’s such a desperate industry. It’s easy to speculate that some percentage of the women involved really believed he had pure and noble intentions — and also that some percentage believed he would help them after they did what was required of them.

    I would expect that both groups are non-zero, and that all of the first group, and many of the second group, feel wronged.

  17. Andrew: My cousin Harry Gittes recently retired from a multi-decade career as a Hollywood producer (see About Schmidt, for example; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0257360/ ). Are you saying that he needn’t have met people with his assistant at his office on the Columbia (later Sony Pictures) lot? His wife would have thought that it was normal for him to invite all potential cast and crew members for upcoming films to meet with him, alone, in a hotel room?

    [One time I visited Harry at the Sony studio and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Marshall (also a producer, but originally an actor) had just received a beautiful fruit salad from her assistant. She pushed it aside and continued her meeting (not alone or in a hotel room, as it happens). I was a graduate student at MIT at the time and my passion for the World Wide Web was not shared by anyone with money. So I said “Are you going to eat that?” and she handed it over.]

  18. If one of those accusers had gone to police, and gotten a blood test or other physical evidence, then Cosby would be in prison. As it is, we will likely never know.

  19. Phil: executives have offices and work in Hollywood. Talent often travels, and works where they are able. I could trade entertainment industry anecdotes all day. It would be boring.

  20. Men’s brain get reward from their when looking at Women.

    Women get a reward for manipulating Men.

    You should be able to figure that Cosby was doing and What
    women were doing from the above statements.

    Correct answer would be their brains were rewarding them from
    doing the biding of Evolution.

    Cosby could have easily paid escorts like Tiger Woods, as well.
    There are porn stars that do that for rich men every day.
    Japanese Porn starts are hired by Chinese companies as reward
    for their executive.

    Rape is design of Evolution for Beta Males. Cosby is not Beta male.
    Alpha Males are not usually caught in this trap since laws were written
    by Alpha Males.

  21. Phil, I’ll tell you EXACTLY what was supposed to have happened between a rich married guy in a hotel room alone with a younger woman. Obviously, they retired to the privacy of that temporary shelter in order to coördinate the ways and means by which (soon to be) her mentor could act to enhance the young lady’s talents and advance her career. Discuss while sipping Fortnum & Mason’s Finest Imported Teas with their pinkies fully extended, brewed off a silver dolly and served on the establishment’s finest china by an uniformed flunkey[*]. After that, the hotel’s official photographer would be called up to the suite to “photo-entomb” the moment for all eternity; and after that the Mentor would order a limo to send his now-protegé safely home while wishing her Good Night (why did you even have to ask, I wonder).

    [Aside from that, I couldn’t fail to note that you had a cousin in the Hollywood trades, yet failed to exploit that connection to the fullest! You could’ve become someone, produced the “Cleaver” [cleavermovie.com,] cavort with the Travoltas. Instead, you had to dabble in the World Wide Web, and write that ACS while dating 300lbs California blondes. Which left a vacuum easily filled by no-talent hoodlums like Michael Moltisanti, who never fully appreciated the moltitalenti Adriana LaCerva.]

    [^*] https://www.fortnumandmason.com/fortnums/all-about-tea

  22. Hi Phil,

    Cosby was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2002, when there had been just one accusation (from Lachele Covington), which did not involve drugs and sex (it involved “groping”), and there was a lawsuit but the district attorney’s office concluded that Cosby had not committed a crime.

    The next accusation came in 2004, from Andrea Constand. So in 2002, a background check would not have turned up anything like what we are now seeing in the news.

    The Constand accusation did not result in a criminal lawsuit for lack of evidence (as determined by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office), but did result in a civil suit, which was joined by 13 anonymous female victims plus Constand, and was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. After that (2005 and beyond) a lot of other women stepped forward and made public accusations, most of the 13 anonymous women who were part of the Constand suit revealed their identity, and even more women came forward. It snowballed over a period of years, and now here we are, with 45 women alleging scores of assaults over a period of 40 years. Most of those accusations won’t result in lawsuits, because of statute of limitations, but even Cosby’s staunchest defenders (with the exception of his wife… so far) have been doing 180s over the last year or two.

    How much the world has changed since 2002!

    (An obvious *next* next question is why did so many women keep silent for so many years, even decades. The exact answer varies from woman to woman, but there are some common themes…)

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