Joan Tarshis

Joan Tarshis6 posts

Joan Tarshis is an American former actress, music industry publicist and journalist born in 1950. She alleges she was raped in 1969 by Bill Cosby.

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14 Dec, 2015

Sues seven accusers for defamation

Files Suit

In response to a defamation suit brought by his accusers, Cosby sues Green, Serignese, Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Bowman, Tarshis and Leslie for defamation, saying:

[The defendants] have made malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him. [They have] knowingly published false statements and accusations.

19 Nov, 2014



Lemon responds to criticism over his oral-sex questions to Tarshis.

As a victim myself I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question struck anyone as insensitive, I’m sorry as that was not my intention.


‘Biting’ question


Lemon asks Tarshis why she did not bite Cosby when he forced her to have oral sex.

Lemon: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it
Tarshis: I was kind of stoned at the time and, quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.
Lemon: Meaning the using of the teeth as a weapon, right?
Tarshis: Yes, I didn’t even think of it.
Lemon: Biting
Tarshis: Ouch
Lemon: Yes. I had to ask.

17 Nov, 2014

‘He’s a serial rapist’

Makes Statement

In an appearance with Don Lemon on CNN, Tarshis adds more details about her attempt to get Cosby to stop raping her by saying she had an infection.

I thought I was very clever in saying that, but he was more clever. And instead he made me have oral sex with him, which really was horrible. To me it was much much worse than if he had just raped me the normal way.

She also describes Cosby as a “serial rapist”.

He’s a serial rapist actually. When you rape at least 15 women then that’s a serial rapist in my opinion.

Former actress: Cosby is a 'serial rapist'


Gives rape details


Tarshis gives details of two situations where she alleges she was drugged and raped by Cosby to Philadelphia magazine. The first in 1969  (when she was 19) at Cosby’s dressing house, on the set of The Bill Cosby Show.

We went up to his cottage after they were done shooting. That’s when it happened. He offered me a drink. It was a red eye, a bloody mary topped off with beer. He always made the drinks; he didn’t have a bartender. And then next thing I know, I was being undressed on his couch. I was so out of it. But I remember saying to him — I thought I would outsmart him — I said, I have an infection down there, and if you have sex with me, you’re going to get it, and then your wife will know. So what did he do? He immediately switched to another orifice, which was worse.

Interviewer: So you were aware of what was happening the entire time?

Yes. He was holding me down. He’s much bigger than I am. He’s very big. I couldn’t resist. He was forceful. He definitely used force. There was nothing I could do except wait for it to be over. I was in shock.

Later, at the Westbury Music Theater in Long Island.

He picked me up in a limo. During the ride, I had something to drink in the car. I don’t remember what it was. I started to feel very woozy. Stoned.

I walked into the theater with him and the chauffeur, and we didn’t have any seats, so we were just standing backstage, and Cosby went into the dressing room. And after a while, I couldn’t stand up, I was so drugged. I asked the chauffeur to bring me back to the car. And I don’t remember anything else that happened until I woke up in the bed the following morning. Naked.

Tarshis says she did not report the incidents at the time because she did not want to upset her parents, and did not want to fight against powerful lawyers:

What could I say? I was 19 years old. I felt, He’s Bill Cosby. He’ll lawyer himself up. I don’t have a lawyer. It’s going to be he said, she said, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy. Keep in mind that if I had come forward back then, I would have been the first one that would have said this. And God knows what his lawyers would do to me. My reputation would have been ruined. They would have said that I was there to seduce him. They would have turned the story around. And part of me was saying, hey, this guy knows a lot of big guys. Maybe they would find my body in a canyon in L.A. He became a scary guy to me.


Alleges rape by Cosby


Cosby is accused of rape in an essay written by Joan Tarshis. In the essay, published in Hollywood Elsewhere, Tarshis alleges that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1969.

I had heard and/or strongly suspected I was not the only white girl he had drugged and raped but I never had any proof. No one began talking until 2004. And though I knew I should say something, I still felt ashamed. Ashamed that I didn’t earlier. In any event now, as more and more of his rape victims have come forward, all telling similar stories, the time is right to join them.

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