Bill Cosby has been facing accusations of rape for years, but they’ve been coming to a head recently after comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist in a stand-up show. Since then, several women have come forward claiming Cosby raped them, including journalist and publicist Joan Tarshis.
On Nov. 16, Hollywood Elsewhere published Tarshis’ account of the rape. In the passage, Tarshis says she told Cosby she had an infection so he wouldn’t have sex with her, but “he just found another orifice to use.” “I was sickened by what was happening to me and shocked that this man I had idolized was now raping me,” she writes. “Of course I told no one.”
Inspired by the recent media storm surrounding Cosby, Tarshis is now telling people—including CNN’s Don Lemon. She spoke with Lemon Tuesday night, when he questioned why she didn’t go to police at the time. “I didn’t go to the police because I was 19 years old, I was scared, and I thought nobody would believe me,” she said. “I’m a 19-year-old girl, and he was Mr. America.”
Lemon went on to question why Tarshis didn’t stop Cosby. “There are ways not to perform oral sex if you don’t want to do it,” he said, and indicated that he meant by biting him.
“I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind,” she replied. “Now, I wish it would have.”
Of course, even if it did enter Tarshis’ mind to fight back, asking her why she didn’t isn’t the most sensitive move. As Amanda Marcotte wrote at Slate, “it’s a lot easier to tell someone to bite a penis from the comfort of a CNN studio than it is to actually bite a penis that is currently in your mouth.”