Cosby accuser: Women worthy of being believed

Bill Cosby accuser Lili Bernard says that Cosby's guilty verdict is a victory for womanhood and all sexual assault survivors.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 12:32 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 12:35 PM

Though Bill Cosby's guilty verdict Thursday related only to his assault on Andrea Constand in 2004, dozens of other women had accused him of similar crimes -- and many of them expressed joy following his conviction in the Constand case.

Some of them took the stand in Cosby's retrial, accusing the comedian of assault in separate incidents decades ago. Cosby, through his lawyers, has repeatedly denied their accusations.

Here's what some of the women had to say following Thursday's verdict.

Lili Bernard

"I feel like I'm dreaming," said Lili Bernard, one of Cosby's accusers, outside the courthouse Thursday.

"Can you pinch me?" she asked, holding out her arm to a reporter. "I feel like my faith in humanity is restored."

In a news conference, Bernard evoked Martin Luther King Jr., saying, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but today it has bent towards justice."

"Last year when I was sitting in the courtroom of the first trial and the verdict was hung, I left with such a tremendous sense of of disappointment," she said. "And it became evident to me that the justice system is light years behind modern culture. But today this jury has shown that what the MeToo movement has (been) saying is that women are worthy of being believed. And I thank the jury. I thank the prosecution."

The victory, Bernard said, doesn't exclusively belong to Constand or Cosby's accusers. "It is also a victory for womanhood, and it is a victory for all sexual assault survivors, female and male."

Victoria Valentino

"I just want to thank DA (Kevin) Steele and his amazing team and all of the people who believed in us every step of the way," said Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy playmate who accused Cosby of raping her in the late 1960s after he gave her pills at dinner.

"We are so grateful to all of you, and thank you, thank you, thank you. We are vindicated. We are validated, and we are now part of the tsunami of women's power and justice."

"We are not shutting up," Valentino said, "and we're not going away. Get over it."

Heidi Thomas

"I looked at (my husband after hearing about the verdict), and I said, 'We did it. We won. We beat Goliath,'" said Heidi Thomas, who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1984 at a house outside Reno, Nevada.

She's said she was a 24-year-old aspiring actress and model who was visiting Cosby for "coaching" at the time of the alleged assault.

Thomas was one of the women who testified against Cosby in Constand's trial.

"You get to look at that person in the face and say, 'You didn't win. I'm still here. And you're going down.' So it's incredibly empowering," she told CNN on Friday.

Patricia Steuer

"I'm stunned," Patricia Steuer told CNN Thursday afternoon. "This is not something I expected in my lifetime, and I'm also elated. I'm elated for Andrea and I'm elated for all the women who have been affected in their lives by this kind of event."

Steuer, who said Cosby assaulted her twice more than 30 years ago when she was an aspiring singer, said she believed the culture surrounding sexual assault and harassment has changed a lot since the close of the initial trial.

"When I came forward in 2005, I thought I was the only one until Andrea Constand tried to have him charged the first time," Steuer said, her voice thick with emotion. "I can't tell you how amazing it was to know that I was not alone anymore, after 25 years of living with this."

"I hope it's empowered women," Steuer said of the verdict. "I hope they know now that this is proof that they don't have to stay silent anymore."

Janice Baker-Kinney

"I am overwhelmed with joy, relief and gratitude," Janice Baker-Kinney, who testified during Cosby's trial, said in a written statement posted to her Twitter account. "Joy that finally, justice has been served. Relief that the years of this toxic chain of silence has been broken and we can now move forward with our heads held high as survivors and not victims."

Baker-Kinney has said that Cosby drugged her before assaulting her in 1982.

"This may be the end for Mr. Cosby, but this victory is just the beginning for many of us, to fight for justice, to do the right thing and support every person who has ever been shamed and humiliated and blamed," Baker-Kinney wrote. "May this verdict open the floodgates to those who have been hiding their shame for far too long and give them courage to come forward. You are NOT alone."

Kathy McKee

"It's a victory. It's relief," said Kathy McKee, a former actress who has accused Cosby of raping her. She said she also felt saddened at the same time.

"There's a sadness about what happens to a man like Bill Cosby from doing these heinous acts for so many years," she said. "There's a certain sadness that comes over me. It's rather pathetic, I think."

McKee said she and other women had been afraid of speaking out against Cosby for years because of his wealth and his power.

In light of the verdict, she said, "then I would think that any intelligent man working in the industry today -- any producer or writer or director or whoever -- would have to, you know, take note and take heed because you can fall."

"You know, you can go as high as you can go," McKee said, "but you can come down, too."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78632

Reported Deaths: 3113
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16437734
Lake7952283
Elkhart505191
Allen4161164
St. Joseph376683
Hamilton3033104
Vanderburgh212215
Hendricks1978109
Johnson1819119
Cass18139
Porter141539
Clark135250
Tippecanoe129312
Madison106266
LaPorte96730
Howard94865
Kosciusko87812
Bartholomew86747
Floyd86150
Marshall80523
Monroe78432
Vigo77913
Delaware77752
Dubois72912
Noble71729
Boone71646
Hancock70239
Warrick61230
Jackson6075
Shelby57328
LaGrange57110
Grant53330
Dearborn52828
Morgan50135
Henry46720
Clinton4624
Wayne41010
White38411
Montgomery36721
Harrison36524
Lawrence35927
Decatur35332
Putnam3318
Daviess29620
Scott28110
Miami2792
Jasper2662
Greene25934
Franklin25116
Gibson2464
DeKalb2444
Jennings23312
Ripley2218
Steuben2173
Carroll2135
Fayette2097
Perry18913
Orange18824
Posey1840
Starke1817
Wabash1805
Wells1802
Fulton1752
Jefferson1752
Knox1711
Sullivan1631
Whitley1626
Tipton15516
Washington1531
Clay1505
Spencer1403
Randolph1345
Huntington1303
Adams1242
Newton12110
Owen1131
Rush1004
Jay970
Pulaski841
Brown762
Fountain762
Pike670
Blackford662
Benton640
Ohio636
Vermillion620
Switzerland590
Parke581
Martin530
Crawford500
Union420
Warren251
Unassigned0207

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106557

Reported Deaths: 3784
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin19287533
Cuyahoga14120523
Hamilton10001262
Lucas5609324
Montgomery4619101
Summit3749225
Butler310569
Marion295645
Mahoning2665259
Pickaway241142
Stark1947142
Warren191440
Lorain188477
Columbiana170461
Trumbull1598112
Fairfield147334
Delaware139219
Licking139053
Clark123516
Lake116343
Wood111558
Clermont100011
Medina98836
Miami89339
Allen84246
Tuscarawas80614
Portage78264
Greene76512
Mercer67613
Richland63512
Belmont62926
Erie62630
Madison58710
Ashtabula58246
Wayne58160
Geauga56445
Ross5285
Darke44230
Sandusky42117
Hancock4153
Huron4145
Ottawa40827
Athens3662
Lawrence3340
Holmes3326
Auglaize2888
Union2801
Muskingum2651
Scioto2651
Seneca2454
Jefferson2403
Shelby2344
Preble2302
Putnam22117
Knox2199
Washington21222
Coshocton1999
Champaign1922
Morrow1882
Hardin18312
Crawford1815
Clinton1806
Logan1742
Highland1712
Perry1693
Fulton1601
Ashland1593
Wyandot1589
Defiance1574
Brown1532
Williams1393
Fayette1270
Henry1252
Hocking1239
Guernsey1217
Carroll1155
Monroe9618
Gallia852
Pike810
Jackson790
Paulding740
Van Wert732
Adams682
Meigs660
Morgan320
Vinton322
Harrison261
Noble190
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Few Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
61° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
61° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 61°
Weekend Storm Chances
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events