tv 2020 ABC May 27, 2016 10:01pm-11:01pm PDT
>> reporter: tonight, on "20/20." this week, it's on. cosby in court. >> this case should end immediately. >> reporter: the lone criminal case against him after more than 50 women and their sexual accusations against america's funniest sitcom father. >> you all can't fool me! >> reporter: now, after all those he said/she saids -- we're talking decades and decades, women telling very similar stories. he's heading toward trial in the case that could send him to prison for years. >> if he's convicted, he faces up to ten years on each of the counts. >> reporter: now facing a tidal wave of lawsuits and a
spectacular fall from grace. this man has gone from the very pinnacle and may end up at a place where he's in prison, a felon, broke. tonight, some of the women and their accusations. >> they kept saying to me, "you're so beautiful." and, "you want to be an actress? oh, you would be terrific. we have to introduce her to cos." >> i first met bill cosby in 1969. >> in 1976. >> in 1984. >> i was a flight attendant for american airlines. >> i was a singer/songwriter. >> i was just a small town girl. >> i wasn't going to go up against goliath. i would have never ever told anyone. >> i don't need people to validate my opinion, and what happened. what i need to do is tell my story. >> reporter: cosby under fire. good evening. i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. a potential game changer just this week, after a pennsylvania judge ordered bill cosby to
stand trial. almost certain to be the biggest celebrity criminal case since the o.j. simpson trial. of course, that trial was televised. but pennsylvania courts don't allow cameras in courtrooms. so what might take place there? >> legal experts say that testimony from numerous women could be presented to show a pattern of behavior. perhaps something like what you're about to see right here tonight. here's the latest. >> a judge has ruled that bill cosby will face charges. >> the defense was extremely aggressive. >> reporter: it has been a long fall for the once powerful and revered entertainer, from magazine covers to mug shot. just this past tuesday a pennsylvania judge ruled there
was enough evidence for bill cosby to stand trial in a sexual assault case. >> he is now in seven defamation sexual assault or sexual battery lawsuits filed by 13 accusers in three different states. >> it feels like he's being sued from all directions. but the most important case is the criminal one. civil's just about money. criminal is about his freedom. >> reporter: jail time? >> real prison time. >> reporter: in fact, the now elderly cosby could face up to 30 years if convicted. at the center of the showdown between the iconic comedian and prosecutors is andrea constand, alleging that cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her. she is not by any means a perfect witness. >> her biggest problems are gog to be the fact that she waited to go to the police. >> reporter: a year. >> the fact that she offered some accounts that were not entirely consistent, and that
it's going to be primarily her word against his. >> reporter: but what could be damaging for cosby in this case is a newly unsealed deposition from a civil case andrea constand filed in 2005. in it, cosby himself admits to offering quaaludes to other women. also at stake is whether a judge agrees to allow the testimony from a growing group of women who have come forward with similar stories told over the span of five decades. >> it is important for the world to know the truth. >> i felt dominated. >> mr. cosby drugged me and sexually assaulted. >> sexually assaulted. >> sexually assaulted me. >> i said, "stop it!" >> bill cosby appears to think that rape is a joke. well, let me tell you something, bill, i'm not laughing. >> reporter: to date, more than 50 women have come forward. more then a dozen of them agreed to sit down and share their
stories in great detail, as seen in a&e's documentary "cosby: the women speak." through his attorneys cosby has issued staunch denials. >> what i am saying is that mr. cosby has denied the accusations. the sheer volume or number of people who are saying a particular thing does not make it true. >> reporter: even after long sealed court statements by cosby revealed he admitted to procuring quaaludes for extramarital sex. >> what we're so far are headlines that are grabbing one excerpt or two and then misinterpreting them. >> reporter: for his outraged fellow comedians, cosby has become a punch line. >> and sleeping beauty just thought she was getting coffee with bill cosby. >> it was a bad week for bill cosby, on the plus side, he has plenty of pills that can make him forget the whole thing. >> reporter: cosby's own response to the firestorm, disbelief. >> i have been in this business 52 years.
and i will -- i've never seen anything like this. and reality is the situation. and i -- i can't speak. >> reporter: but many women are, about instances starting in the mid-1960s. a time when bill cosby, a former temple university track star from philadelphia, was already on his way to becoming a legend for breaking racial barriers. >> it was a time when there was police dogs and fire hoses on the street. in the early '60s there were riots and chaos over poverty, racism, the vietnam war. you wanted to believe that that american spirit was still there. who better to exemplify that than a black kid from a humble house in urban philadelphia who makes it big and gets accepted into people's homes.
everything changes now. >> do you know anything about spanish fly? >> what? >> spanish fly. >> reporter: if the allegations against bill cosby are true they give haunting new meaning to one of his most famous routines, spanish fly. >> no, tell me about it. well, there's this girl, crazy mary, you put some in her drink man and she's like -- >> i said, "it's too sweet." and he said, "no, no, no, you need to drink it and to loosen up." >> he said, "just, you know, just relax, have a drink first and then we'll get into the writing." >> then he put a pill next to my wine glass, he said, "here, take this. this will make you feel better." >> i was an aspiring comedy writer. my name is joan tarshis, and i am 67 years old. i first met bill cosby in 1969 when he was shooting "the bill cosby show."
i went with him back to the room where we had the lunches. >> reporter: she says he poured her a drink. >> very shortly after that i just got very groggy. and the next thing i know he was there taking off my pants. and i thought quickly and said i had a vaginal infection, which was a lie. so he stuck his manly parts into my mouth until he was finished and then i was given $10 and a cab to take me home. >> reporter: joan does admit she accepted another invitation from cosby to see him perform onstage.
>> i thought, "maybe we're going to a theater where there's lots of people so i'll be okay." we got into the limo, i think i had a drink there. >> reporter: joan claims she doesn't remember what happened next. >> the next morning when i woke up next to him naked and i just slipped out of bed feeling lower than dirt. >> my name is victoria valentino. i am a vintage playboy playmate. i'm a registered nurse. i'm an artist. >> reporter: victoria valentino says she and a friend dined with cosby in 1969, and that he knew she'd lost her 6-year-old son in a drowning accident. >> he knew that my child had died. and i was very depressed, you know? and he leaned across and he put
a pill next to my wine glass. he said, "here, take this. this will make you feel better." and i thought, great, you know. and i really never felt in any danger from him at all. and so i took the pill. i couldn't keep my head up. and i was starting to feel nauseated. and i said, "i want to go home." >> reporter: but instead of taking the two women home, valentino claims cosby drove them to a small office. >> and then, all of a sudden, i realized everything was very, very silent. so i opened my eyes and i looked around and he got up and he came over to me and at that point, extracted his pound of flesh. i could hardly walk by that time. and i couldn't talk. he unzipped his fly, had me perform oral sex, then he stood me up, turned me backwards and did me, then he walked out.
and if there is any question about why women don't report rape it's because it's so damned humiliating. you don't ever want to talk about it again. >> reporter: next, from the playboy mansion to cosby's home for christmas. and this woman says an assault, with his family not far away. >> to sexually assault me in his home on christmas eve, that's unbelievable. >> reggie: -- >> reporter: when we come back. . ...i cook. chocolate bread pudding, and soufflés, and... ...banana bread. i make a lot of banana bread because the baby likes bananas. so, we always have bananas in the house. (laughs) whatever home means to you, we'll help you find it. zillow.
hcalluses and bunions ymake them unbearable?s, introducing dr. scholl's cushions with advanced duragel technology. they provide a thin, flexible layer between your shoes and foot pain. so you can move with confidence. new dr. scholl's cushions. a sauce worthy of ragu's founder.e... a new, pasta hugging ragu born from farm-grown ingredients. the heartiest ragu ever. it's new ragu homestyle, and it's always simmered in tradition. i my mom wants to understand, but she just can't see it. so excedrin worked with me to show my mom what i experience during a migraine. excedrin relieves my pain and symptoms. but their dedication to migraine sufferers
doesn't stop there. oh my god... i'm so sorry, honey, that you go through this. now i finally feel understood. experience more stories at excedrin.com whatwherever you are.ing. splenda zero is a fun, easy way to get the perfect amount of sweetness, down to the last sip. zero calories. zero carbs. zero sugar. zero effort. new splenda zero. intromercedes-benz c-coupe, redesigned with its athletic prowess and sleek new body. it doesn't just raise the bar... ...it completely crushes it. the all-new c-class coupe. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
>> reporter: by the late 1960s, bill cosby's career was hitting new highs. he was starring in his own sitcom and was a staple on "the tonight show," guest hosting for johnny carson more than 30 times. >> i definitely think there's been a takeover. >> reporter: cosby was also a regular at the playboy mansion in los angeles. and a recurring guest on the show "playboy after dark." the playboy brand meant style and glamour. >> i modeled for "playboy" magazine that year and the issue was coming out in november of 1977. my name is sarita butterfield and i was 22 years old when i met bill cosby. >> reporter: she says she'd never met cosby until one day when he called her on the phone.
>> he said to me that he had saw my picture in the magazine and thought i was very beautiful. and he heard that i was an aspiring actress. and he says, "how would you like to join me and my family for christmas eve dinner in massachusetts?" wow. i was ecstatic. everything was wonderful. and until later that evening -- i was in the guest house and i was alone. bill cosby wrapped his arms around me, grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back. and he was attempting to kiss me. groping me, not just my breasts. he felt pretty entitled to touch me in parts that he had no right to. i said, "stop. get off me." i said, "your family is here." what was i going to say?
his intentions were to prey on me. and -- and to sexually assault me in his home on christmas eve. that was, that's unbelievable. i don't know. i've never gotten over it. i've never told anyone. and the worst is when you come back from a situation, all the bunnies, my fellow co-workers and bunnies, they want to know, "oh, my god, you, bill cosby, what was it like?" what can i say? it was wonderful. >> reporter: by 1972, cosby had a new hit cartoon -- the now-classic "fat albert." >> hey, hey, hey. >> reporter: and he was beginning to work in movies, even starring opposite sidney poitier in "uptown saturday night." >> you see what i saw? >> yes, i saw what you saw! you dead? >> reporter: his film career was about to take off. by this ti cosby was a bona fide member of the international jet set. >> i was a flight attendant for
american airlines. i met bill cosby in 1976. >> reporter: "elizabeth" is using an assumed name. she says, to protect her family and her business. she says she had just turned 20 when she saw bill cosby on a flight from new york to los angeles. >> i couldn't wait to get his autograph. he was very obliging and he said, "i'd like to take you to dinner." he took me to a place called tokyo kaikan. he had a glass of sake. and i really didn't know what sake was. i did not drink or do drugs. but he said, "taste it, just taste it. you need to drink it to loosen up." it's bill cosby, what could happen? it was literally like being under anesthesia and, um, trying to come out but you can't. after that, i don't know how i ended up in his hotel room.
he undressed and he put on a robe and he sat down. and he told me to come over and kneel down and the rest is just too hard to talk about. and then i started getting profusely sick and the driver got me in his car and i was throwing up in a rolls-royce and i said, i'm so sorry. and the driver said, "you aren't the first." and i was filled with shame and guilt, i would have never ever told anyone. >> reporter: when we return, pitching products onscreen. >> it's a snack because it's so rich and creamy. >> reporter: and she says pitching lies offscreen as an acting coach. >> he told me to bring a monologue. >> reporter: showing her scrapbook, memories of what she calls a nightmare, next.
people are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills. and comes in a pen. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® works with your body to lower blood sugar in 3 ways: in the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas. vo: victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise.
it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza® is not insulin. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include itching, rash, or difficulty breathing. tell your doctor if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza®, including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back, with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea,
diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. hello new coppertone sport. it's reformulated to feel lighter on your skin, but still protects and stays on strong. new coppertone sport. hello sunshine.
>> reporter: in the late 1970s and early '80s, cosby's fame would make him the perfect pitchman for big american brands like jell-o pudding. >> it's a snack fit for a king because it's so rich and creamy. >> reporter: ford, and coca-cola. >> real cola relief from coca-cola. >> reporter: the ads boosted his wealth and cemented a trustworthy persona. >> this stuff is great. >> reporter: in private, a starkly different story was allegedly unfolding. >> my agent called me and said there was an icon who was interested in mentoring promising young talent.
my name is heidi thomas and i was 24 years old when i first met bill cosby. my first thought was, "wow, i'm promising young talent." >> reporter: heidi says cosby called her and her parents to personally invite her to reno, nevada, for acting coaching in 1984. >> i thought it was nice that he called. he seemed to be intent on making sure we weren't worried about this trip. i wondered why he was making such a point of saying, "everything's going to be fine." >> he told me to bring a monologue. because he was so squeaky clean, it never occurred to me that there was anything untoward about this at all. i kept my tickets. >> reporter: thinking it was the chance of a lifetime, heidi says she kept everything. and 31 years later, she says she still has the plane ticket, and a scrapbook of photos of her trip to reno. >> it would have looked weird if
i didn't keep a scrapbook about getting acting coaching from bill cosby, so absolutely, i took pictures. that's what i wore to the airport. there was a driver there to pick me up and he said, "oh, yes. there's been a change of plan. a friend of mr. cosby's has loaned him his ranch house." there's what i drove up to, this big, verandas, sprawling ranch house. rang the doorbell. bill cosby answers the door in his sweats and very casual and very friendly. >> reporter: heidi says she was shown her room and later performed her monologue for cosby. >> he wasn't too impressed. he said, "let's try a cold read." so he handed me a script. and the person i'm supposed to be clearly is intoxicated. i do remember him saying, "heidi, have you ever been drunk?" and i said, "no, not really." and he said, "well, how -- how do you expect to play a role like this?" so he poured a glass and he
said, "all right. this is your prop. you're going to sip on your wine." and i literally -- i don't remember anything other than one sip. >> reporter: she says the next four days are a drug-induced blur. but she says she does remember mental snapshots. >> my clothes were on. his were not. and i was lying down and he was forcing himself in my mouth. then the next snapshot is, i hear his voice basically telling me that we're going to be doing this again. and i thought, "this isn't why i'm here." and i have no memory of being taken back to the airport, of being greeted by my parents. >> reporter: several weeks later, she says she went to a show in st. louis to get answers about what happened. >> all i can say is that i just -- i wanted to make it right.
did i remember things right? was this a nightmare? did he say he was going to mentor me and not mean any of it? when it became clear that i wasn't going to get any answers to any of my questions, i wanted a picture with him. my parents and i never discussed this. not once. i didn't tell my agent. i knew that if i made this allegation against the squeaky clean bill cosby -- who's she going to believe? in the battle of public opinion alone, he was teflon. >> he really knew how to zero in on my insecurities and my vulnerabilities. >> reporter: in 1985, barbara bowman was living in denver, a 17-year-old aspiring model-actress. >> i had no father figure in my
life, was an only child and he knew there were trust issues there. he could come to town to scout for new talent and i was selected as one of the talent. >> reporter: she claims cosby manipulated her into trusting him and later drugged and sexually assaulted her several times. >> i had one glass of wine and the next thing i knew i was coming to, slumped over the toilet throwing up and he was looming over me in a white robe. and i was in my panties and a white t-shirt. i was sick, i was confused, i was foggy. but i knew something had happened. >> reporter: she says there was another incident in a hotel, in atlantic city. >> he attacked me, he came after me like a wild animal and tried to rape me and i was coherent enough to fight, and scratch, and scream and cry and try to
rustle my way out of there. he had me pinned to the bed with his elbow under my chin and was ferociously trying to remove his belt buckle and pants while trying to get down my pants, and it was not going to happen and i fought so hard that he eventually threw me away off the bed. he looked me square in the eye and he said, "i better never, ever hear your name or see your face again." >> reporter: bowman confided in a girlfriend years later who took her to a lawyer. >> when i went to a lawyer in '89, he laughed me out of the office. who's going to believe me? he's dr. huxtable after all, america's favorite dad. >> reporter: enter dr. huxtable and a runaway hit. and an actress who says he used the show for an assault. >> nuzzled my neck and said,
"this is making love. we're just going to make love." >> reporter: a "cosby show" cast member speaks up. >> something is going on. everybody is not auditioning. >> reporter: when we come back. ? yeah. >>uh, hello!? a meeting? it's a big one. too bad. we are double booked: diarrhea and abdominal pain. why don't you start without me? oh. yeah. if you're living with frequent, unpredictable diarrhea and abdominal pain, you may have irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, or ibs-d. a condition that can be really frustrating. talk to your doctor about viberzi, a different way to treat ibs-d. viberzi is a prescription medication you take every day that helps proactively manage both diarrhea and abdominal pain at the same time. so you stay ahead of your symptoms. viberzi can cause new or worsening abdominal pain. do not take viberzi if you have or may have had: pancreas or severe liver problems, problems with alcohol abuse, long-lasting or severe constipation, or a blockage of your bowel or gallbladder.
if you are taking viberzi, you should not take medicines that cause constipation. the most common side effects of viberzi include constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. stay ahead of ibs-d... with viberzi. don't let dust and allergies get and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by over producing six key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms. most allergy pills only control one substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one.
they're in your bulbs. ah! i got you, i got you! >> reporter: cosby's dr. cliff huxtable and his family were educated professionals whose problems and popularity transcended race. >> dad, you're great. >> it was a really powerful message for the african-american community, for the whole world to know that we're a part of the american fabric. >> reporter: so many people wanted to be part of it, including beverly johnson, already famous in her own right as the decade's most celebrated african-american model. she is one of more than a dozen women who shared their stories in a&e's documentary "cosby: the women speak." >> i was thrilled that they were interested in auditioning me for the show. i believe that there was even a possibility of a re-occurring role. >> reporter: in the mid-'80s, johnson says she was invited to cosby's brownstone to rehearse. next, she says he insisted she
try a cappuccino. >> immediately i felt woozy. everything was spinning. and i was dizzy, and i knew i had been drugged. no doubt in my mind. he puts one hand around my waist. and i remember cocking my head and saying, "you're a [ bleep ], aren't you?" >> reporter: according to johnson, cosby escorted her out of the house and threw her into a taxi. >> i was so disappointed. it was like a family member had done something to me. i knew that the kind of person i was dealing with would destroy me. >> my name is chelan lasha, and i was 17 years old when i met bill cosby. >> reporter: like johnson, chelan lasha says she admired cosby, she believed he was
interested in helping with her career, when she was invited to his las vegas hotel in 1986. chelan says her aunt had shown cosby her photo, and he then offered to introduce her to the ford modeling agency. >> i was so excited. you know, bill cosby. bill cosby. i went to the hilton, he said that someone from the agency was going to meet me. took a couple of snapshots of me and they had left and i was having really bad allergies and he said, "here, this is an antihistamine," and it was a blue pill, and he gave it to me with a shot of amaretto. you know, he said, "it'll make you feel better." pretty soon i got to feeling kind of disoriented and it's like i couldn't move my body. and i was like -- like, kind of catatonic. he began pinching on my breasts and he was grunting. and i kept saying to myself,
"dr. huxtable -- dr. huxtable," and i remember something warm up my leg and i -- and i was passed out and i woke up to him saying, "daddy said, wake up, daddy said, wake up." put about $1,500 on the dresser. i thought i was going to be on "the cosby show," i thought he was going to help me. and he didn't help me, he hurt me. he made me feel like nobody. i felt like nothing. who's going to believe me? i'm just a high school student. >> reporter: later in her life, chelan had run-ins with the law. she says the experience with cosby changed the course of her life. >> i hate that i met him. my life changed when i met him for the worse. you know, i've got a piece of my soul back, but it took a long time.
>> the really big bucks are in show business. bill cosby is the biggest, an estimated $57 million this year. >> reporter: by the late 1980s, cosby was a powerhouse brand. "forbes" magazine rates him the highest paid celebrity in america, making millions from television commercials, stand-up shows and best-selling books. >> bill cosby was a titan in 1989. >> we were contacted by a mr. krauss. >> reporter: that year, a 23-year-old eden tirl was cast as a police officer on an episode of "the cosby show." she claims she was singled out and called to cosby's dressing room where she was harassed. >> he closed the door and locked it behind him, pulled me into his body, squeezed me tight, nuzzled my neck and said, "see, this is making love. we're just going to make love. this is it."
i cannot imagine that there aren't people who were working in and around that set, that knew that something was going on. >> i didn't witness anything. >> reporter: joseph phillips played the role of martin kendall, denise huxtable's husband, from 1989 to 1992. >> but there was always a sense of something. and there were people whispering. this parade that would come through of beautiful women. something -- something is going on. everybody's not auditioning, you know. >> reporter: but phillips says he didn't believe recent allegations against cosby until a friend of his who has not come forward told him privately that she had been assaulted by cosby. >> two hours later, i've listened to the whole story. and she says, "do you believe me?"
i say, "yes, i believe you." it's a tragedy. he was well loved by millions and millions of people. >> reporter: next, after bill cosby spoke up from one stage. >> these young girls got no business having sex. >> reporter: a fellow comic would take him on from the stand-up stage. >> yeah, but you raped women bill cosby, so -- >> reporter: when we come back. whitening toothpastes i think dentists don't like to recommend
to their patients with sensitivity because they may be more abrasive. what makes sensodyne true white different is it's a low abrasive toothpaste. sensodyne true white will be an opportunity for them to make a recommendation to treat sensitivity first and foremost for those patients, but also whiten the patient's teeth. i think dentists are going to be very excited to recommend the new sensodyne true white because it's a win for both sides. to help protect your dog or cat from fleas and ticks. with the performance you expect from a monthly topical in a non-greasy collar... seresto® kills and repels fleas and ticks for 8 continuous months. seresto®. from bayer.
what if we made a paint that was so special that was such a jewel among paints that you had to seek it out. nope, even easier than that. more like taking a left on that street where you usually take a right that wasn't so hard. and if finding that paint made you and your walls beam with pride, is it still paint? benjamin moore. paint like no other. find one of our 5,000 authorized retailers near you.
>> reporter: for the new millennium, cosby had a new image going from actor to activist using his fame to preach to the black community. >> he wins the biggest humanitarian award a civilian can earn from the president. and he's like, the best of american citizens and i go into the bathroom and throw up.
>> 70% of the teenage pregnant happen to be african-american girls. don't ask me to soften my message. >> the old cosby would've made a joke out of that. the new cosby wasn't really so much joking, he was -- he was criticizing. >> respect for yourself. respect for others. these young girls got no business having sex. [ applause ] >> reporter: but in 2005, the veneer of the revered actor and father figure was starting to chip away. a woman from pennsylvania would file a civil suit with claims that would ultimately lead to cosby's day in criminal court. andrea constand, a former temple university athletic director, claimed that a year prior, at cosby's home, she took three blue pills that cosby had
offered her and became barely conscious. she said he then molested her. cosby denied assaulting her and said the pills he offered her were benadryl. eventually, 13 other women came forward to constand's attorneys with similar stories and offered to testify on her behalf. >> i said, that's enough. i will not sit in silence any longer. and no one believed this woman and i did because her story was my story. >> reporter: but before any of the 13 jane does could testify, on november 8th, 2006, the lawsuit was settled with a confidentiality agreement and sealed. little did cosby know that years later this case would come back to haunt him. and even back in 2006, that didn't stop the jane does from continuing to speak out. >> it was my calling to come forward and not stay a jane doe,
that people knew my name, that people knew i had the courage to come out, hoping to empower other women. >> reporter: the allegations faded from public consciousness, becoming little more than a footnote in cosby's decades-long career. >> and i just had to shelve it, file it away and carry on with my life. >> reporter: a best-selling biography about cosby came out in 2014 that omitted any mention of sexual assault allegations. with a national comedy tour, cosby seemed primed for a late career renaissance. but, it would be another comic who would steal the spotlight and shine new light on old allegations. on a thursday night in october, 2014, a blogger attended hannibal buress' stand-up set at the trocadero theatre in philadelphia. >> pull your pants up, black people. i was on tv in the '80s. i can talk down to you because i had a successful sitcom.
yeah, but you raped women, bill cosby, so -- >> reporter: the video of comedian hannibal buress calling cosby a rapist went viral. >> this guy is a man. a man is making a joke about it in his stand-up routine? and suddenly everybody believes him. >> there were many, many, many women that had come forward long before this comedian had said anything. so i think that's [ bleep ]. >> reporter: barbara bowman told her story yet again in an extraordinary article for "the washington post." the headline, "bill cosby raped me. why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?" >> the timing was right, i guess. the impact of social media is so immediate that people were listening. >> reporter: the story was suddenly a headline that cosby could not escape. in november 2014, cosby was asked about the allegations during an interview with the associated press. >> i have to ask about your name coming up in the news recently,
regarding this comedian. >> no, no. we don't answer that. >> okay. >> now, can i get something from you? >> what's that? >> that none of that will be shown. and i would appreciate it, if it was scuttled. >> reporter: when we come back, a crucial decision lies ahead in the court case. with booking.com's range rebel and key can wing it all the way to jordan and chelsea's wedding. rumble! road trip. there she is. uh oh, oh, oh, oh, what? so here is our road trip itinerary. what's this? a bunch of different places... nah, bro. we gotta go off-script. rip to shreds every motel, cabin and teepee,
between here and the wedding. now get out of my seat. alright. (screams) road trip! whahhhh hahaha... road trip! wheall i can think abouthit, is getting relief. only nicorette mini has a patented fast-dissolving formula. it starts to relieve sudden cravings fast. i never know when i'll need relief. that's why i only choose nicorette mini. this weekend, take an extra 10 dollars off your purchase of 25 dollars or more and save on the summer stuff everyone needs like swimwear as low as 15 dollars shorts as low as 15 dollars and tees and tanks as low as 10 dollars now that's the good stuff kohl's from bank of america to buy a new gym bag. before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store. even before he got 3% back on gas. kenny used his bankamericard cash rewards credit card
to join the wednesday night league. because he loves to play hoops. not jump through them. that's the excitement of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. if you've gone to extremes to escapetry clarispray.ergies. new, from the makers of claritin. with the #1 prescribed ingredient. and nothing is more effective at relieving your sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. return to the world with clarispray. real cheese peoplbig flavor in every little, bitty bite. new sargento snack bites, with 20 calories per stick, you can grab 'em, skewer 'em, pop 'em. just don't ever call them mild. new sargento snack bites, big flavor in a little bite. >> reporter: years of allegations against bill cosby, but no criminal action until now. >> we are going to move forward on the case and look forward to getting a trial date. >> reporter: but what will
happen if the judge allows some of these other women to testify or admits into evidence that damning deposition? >> if they let in both those things, i think bill cosby's probably toast. >> reporter: that deposition was buried by court order ten years ago in that civil case brought by constand, and unsealed last july. cosby's own words now being used against him. >> he admits to giving these women alcohol. he admits to giving these women drugs in an effort to have sexual contact with them. the only thing then would be at issue is whether or not they consented to it. >> reporter: consent in these cases can be tricky, and the defense will argue that a lot of the women went back to see cosby after the alleged assaults, as andrea constand did. can you make a lot about the fact that she went back to see him? that she bought him a sweater as a gift? >> the defense will make a huge issue out of this.
>> reporter: but remember, constand is one of many women telling similar stories, which also makes the judge's decision whether to admit their testimony even more critical. it's also one thing to try and destroy the credibility of a single woman on the witness stand. if you try and do that to 10 women, 15 women, i can't imagine that's going to play well with a jury. >> if i had one victim, that may be a bit difficult to prove. but if i have a choir of victims singing the same song, you then have a hit record. >> reporter: cosby's lawyers say the case should be dismissed immediately. >> there's no evidence of a crime here. and the inconsistencies that plague this investigation from the beginning continue to plague it now. >> reporter: meanwhile, as cosby fights the criminal charges in pennsylvania, his lawyers are
also fighting in courtrooms on both coasts. seven of his alleged victims have filed a defamation suit against cosby. he struck back with a defamation suit of his own against the women including bowman, tarshis and separately against beverly johnson. >> these seven counter defendants have made false, malicious statements against mr. cosby. >> reporter: but the accusers say they find strength in each other. >> i had the courage to come out, hoping to empower other women. i have gone from victim to victim's advocate. >> i knew i wasn't the only one. >> and you can't take that on by yourself. >> a woman drove by just two weeks ago and spit at me and called me liar. which really shook me up. nobody likes to be called a liar, nobody likes to be spit at. especially when you are not lying.
>> the numbers started building, then you realize now it's not just me against the giant. >> it was me and you and you and you and you and you and you. >> and finally i told my daughter. >> reporter: many of these women say the first step towards coming forward was to tell their mothers, their sisters, their daughters. >> she was, like, so upset. and then i told her, "and i might be coming out with the story." "no, don't, mom. do you want that for your legacy?" and then my daughter calls back and says, "you know, i talked to my husband," and she said, "i want you to tell your story. and i want you to know that i'm behind you." >> i said, "mom, you know i couldn't have told you. no one would've ever believed me. it was bill cosby." and she just cried and cried and
cried and cried and cried and cried and held me, like i was 19 again. >> here i am, 38 years later finally telling my story. no one would've ever believed me in 1976. >> victims can come forward, they can speak out. no matter how wealthy, no matter how famous, no matter how powerful you are, you are not exempt from justice and the law. >> and no date has been set for the trial. >> and whether the sealed deposition will be allowed in. i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. from all of us, have a great friday evening and a safe weekend. good night.