October 17, 2021

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Invoice Cosby Survivor Patte O’Connor Reacts to News of His Release

11 min read

I’m nonetheless stunned that this took place to me, Patte O’Connor, a girl from Toledo, Ohio.

I was 24, just lately out of graduate faculty, and in the to start with few months of my task as assistant director of actions at Clemson University the working day I met Bill Cosby.

When I initially started at Clemson, I was definitely thrilled. It was 1984 and a absolutely distinct tradition and time than it is now. In hindsight, I was nonetheless rather naive. Coming from the qualifications that I did—born and elevated in Toledo, a extremely Catholic upbringing and education—I was fairly sheltered. White bread.

At the time, Clemson was on fireplace. It was a sizzling location to be, and we have been ecstatic to have scored Invoice Cosby to do a exhibit as element of our homecoming occasions that yr. The Cosby Display was at its height. Scores were being significant and obtaining bigger. So when my manager asked me to be Cosby’s private assistant who would be charged with web hosting him the day of the function, it was really huge. The occupation was my everyday living.

The evening in advance of he arrived, I ready the auditorium for the display with some college students. We were being doing the job like dogs to get every little thing just right and I didn’t get to mattress till 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. The up coming early morning, I was up and functioning at 8 a.m., with just a couple several hours of slumber under my belt. My adrenaline was in superior gear. I never even remember consuming anything at all but a cup of espresso.

His flight received in all-around 2 o’clock that working day. He’d flown in on his non-public plane and landed on a strip in this field ideal outside Clemson. I was ready there with a protection group, law enforcement escorts, and a driver. He got off the plane in a purple Adidas jumpsuit, just like the renowned a person from the opening credits of The Cosby Clearly show. I released myself as his escort for the working day and questioned what he would like to do. I made available a tour of campus or a journey to some nearby lakes and talked about we had beautiful scenery around.

But he was not intrigued in anything except obtaining to the lodge home and obtaining a mother-and-pop type of area to choose up some hamburgers and Cokes. We obtained the food, headed to the hotel, and I walked him up to his area. Standing in the hallway, I handed him the keys and his foodstuff, and in my head, I’m contemplating, Of training course he doesn’t want to be with small-overlook-nothing at all-nobody Patte from Toledo, Ohio, correct now. He’s not intrigued in any excursions he just wishes to get to his area.

But he invited me in, and as someone who was his “hostess,” I mentioned “okay” and entered.

The room had two beds, divided by a nightstand the place a lamp and mobile phone sat. I selected a seat by a desk in the corner. There was a normal gift basket sitting down there with fruit, nuts, and a tiny bottle of wine.

He sat on the bed nearest the door and stated, “This is my bed, and that is your bed,” pointing to point out which mattress was which. For a break up next, I imagined, Very well, that is a weird remark, like okay…whatever you want.

He ate his hamburger and presented me 1 way too but I did not want to consume. I was too nervous. I did not want to take in in front of him and I just was not hungry.

We started chatting and what struck me ideal off the bat was that he was not the person on Television set. He wasn’t Dr. Huxtable. He did not have that voice, the tone, or the mannerisms. He was not lighthearted. He was extremely severe, pretty mental, and very uncomplicated. We did not discuss about topical things like the weather, how the soccer crew was accomplishing, or if I liked my work proper absent. Rather, we talked about education and learning and philosophy. There was no laughing or nearly anything like that, but he set me at ease quite promptly.

At some stage, he recognized the bottle of wine in the basket and questioned if I’d like a glass. I’d turned down the burger, but I felt much more cozy this time so I approved a tiny glass of wine that he poured into just one of the cups in the room. I hardly ever drank and since I experienced not eaten and it was mid-afternoon, the wine hit me pretty immediately. I was calm. I did not notice that he never ever drank any liquor himself. It did not register. Practically nothing did.

I did not notice that he in no way drank any liquor himself. It did not sign up. Nothing at all did.

In time, I went by way of the full bottle, which was not full-sizing but a lesser 1. He commenced inquiring about my loved ones. That working day, a single of my cousins was getting married and he advised we contact the reception corridor and get my cousin on the phone. “Let’s have some entertaining with this,” he’d explained. “What a good thought!” I recall agreeing.

I then moved from the table and chair to sit on “my bed.” He was currently sitting down on “his bed” and we confronted each and every other and attempted to navigate how to call the reception hall on this old-fashioned corded phone. Ultimately, we obtained my cousin on the mobile phone and it was like, “Hey, I’m with Invoice Cosby!” At the time, I thought it was all terrific and light and fun.

Shortly following hanging up, he requested if I appreciated espresso and I did. Then he requested if I preferred espresso cocktails. Sure I do!

So he ordered coffee and some smaller bottles of Kahlúa to the home and, like the wine, started out serving me these coffee beverages. I in no way noticed he wasn’t participating.

Afterward, he requested me if I was drained and I explained indeed. I was tremendous weary. I was experience the outcomes, but I also felt like this dude was now my buddy. So when he prompt I join him on “his bed,” my defenses ended up down and I did. He questioned if I preferred back rubs or tummy rubs. I felt a minimal tick within of me expressing something doesn’t sense right. I didn’t even fully grasp what a tummy rub was. But I answered, Uh, a back rub?”

He then put his hands on my shoulders and just variety of touched them for a little bit. It seemed like a really short quantity of time passed before he explained, “Okay, my convert. I want a tummy rub.”

Once more, I felt that interior tick. I didn’t even know how to give a tummy rub. But he lifted his shirt up and I took my hand in a really nonsexual way and just made a number of circles on his belly. Intimacy was hardly ever even on my radar. It didn’t previous long before he leaned about and kissed me. A siren then went off within of me. Straight away I mentioned “no” and backed absent.

I was in shock. It was as if your most effective friend’s brother, whom you’ve recognized all your life, experienced kissed you. Anything was improper about it. It was like, “Ew, you’re married! Ew, you are my buddy! Pals really do not kiss!”

And which is the second I’m pretty positive I handed out, since the future detail I recall is the telephone ringing. The place was pitch-black. I would see later on that my dresses ended up still on my system however disheveled as if they’d been balled up and put again on. I didn’t know in which I was or what was going on. I picked up the cellphone and it was my boss. He was yelling, declaring matters like, “Why are not you below?” and “Why have not you checked in?” and “What’s likely on?” It was question following concern.

I bear in mind hearing the shower jogging in the area but I don’t recall what I at any time explained to my manager. It appeared like a small discussion, but inside minutes, there was pounding on the doorway. I’m even now on the mattress when Cosby answered it. It was my boss, who I imagine Cosby kept out in the hallway. I do not keep in mind acquiring off the mattress or exiting the area. But I bear in mind finding into the motor vehicle, which experienced a police escort, with Cosby and my boss. I sat in the middle of them.

I really do not remember arriving at the college or having out of the car, but I know when we got into the building, there was a extensive hallway. All the learners, my coworkers, and college lined the halls. They were being so thrilled.

We had a locker area set up for the push and for university administration to get image ops. I could not even concentrate on people’s faces. It was all fuzzy. I certainly never even know how I walked down the corridor. There was all this craziness, cameras were going off. But I was in a fog.

It was all fuzzy. I definitely really don’t even know how I walked down the corridor. I was in a fog.

I could hear the opening act in the qualifications. We had been managing late. I remember viewing my manager in a corner with Cosby. He was in his confront, visibly offended. I just cannot remember the precise words, but it was apparent he was asking Cosby what transpired. But there was no time for a sit-down to converse it all out. The opening act was by now on.

The subsequent detail I bear in mind was hearing the roar of the group as he walked on the stage. The whole auditorium just went crazy. I had to be sent residence simply because I was entirely incapacitated. Somebody orchestrated obtaining me out of the doorway and into a vehicle but I never keep in mind the ride house.

I hadn’t even made it up the stairs of the townhouse where I lived when I handed out. I woke up there in the early-morning hours and inevitably acquired myself in bed. I instantly known as my manager when I woke up once more that early morning. I thought I was fired. I was so upset, I cried and apologized around and in excess of once again. He only claimed we’d discuss about it at work the following day.

That Monday, I walked into the office wondering I’d be fired. I was humiliated. We had a employees conference ideal away that early morning. My manager sat down at his desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out a wine opener. He set it on the leading of the desk and everyone in the meeting just burst into laughter. I was truly so relieved. I thought, Oh my god, I’m not going to be fired. I never even don’t forget what we talked about in the conference, but I know we by no means talked about what transpired with Cosby at any time once more.

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I did not thoroughly comprehend what took place to me that day until 2005. In my head, I just made it this humorous Invoice Cosby story. For decades, I manufactured gentle of it for persons.

When Andrea Constand arrived forward, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sick because her tale was so identical to mine. I just considered, Oh my god, I passed out. I was a girl. Something experienced to have occurred to me that working day.

I noticed that Gloria Allred was representing a number of Cosby victims and I reached out to her office and informed my story. That is how I became Jane Doe #6.

In 2012, my dad passed away and I quit my career and commenced a new profession. My mother was ailing from dementia and could not stay on her very own, so I moved her in with me. Towards the stop of her daily life, I acquired a notice from an investigative journalist, Nicki Weisensee Egan. She described that she was creating a e book on Invoice Cosby and I knew this was my prospect. The book, Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Father, was posted in April 2019 and that’s where by I was initially publicly discovered as Jane Doe #6.

I had repressed the trauma for so prolonged that the aftermath of admitting it, of coming ahead, was brutal. It nonetheless is not great. In truth, it will never ever be superior or effortless. Ever. I have issues with stress that I have to be incredibly conscious of to handle. I can get overwhelmed extremely quickly. It’s impacted my own relationships. I’m still solitary. I have issues with have faith in. I have dealt with melancholy, on and off.

When Cosby was launched final week, I was hysterical. At the time he was convicted, it was this kind of a aid recognizing that he was recognized around the earth as the perpetrator that he is. Irrespective of whether or not individuals chose to keep in his corner, justice was served. Now, my brain just just can’t approach it. I figured out of the launch from a lawyer good friend who discussed to me how this could’ve transpired. He’s defined it to me 5 periods a day at this issue. I’m nevertheless not completed processing, and I really do not know when I ever will be.

We Cosby victims are an exceptionally wretched, exceptional set. Most victims don’t have to see their perpetrator or hear about them. But for this subset of females, we are consistently exposed to the trauma as he proceeds to pop up in the media. Bam, it hits. I’m 62 now. I’ll truly feel the ripple effects even after he dies, this means I won’t escape this until I do.

From time to time, I have to place a beneficial spin on it or else I would be in a closet with the lights turned out all the time. I assume that it was meant to occur. Justice for me is building my world—the one particular in my mind—just and reasonable and peaceful so my ideas really don’t imprison me. I was provided an possibility to be one particular of the Davids towards Goliath. I have been offered a voice and I’m grateful that I can use it to stand up. I’m not an expert on assault—I just know what I went as a result of.

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