Bill Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault last month, and it was the testimony of several women who sealed his fate.
Lise-Lotte Lublin is one of those women.
She was a young model in 1989 when Cosby invited her to his room at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Lublin said she met Cosby after her agency called and told her that he wanted to meet her. She said it was common for a modeling agency to call her and send her to a hotel room to meet with someone, however, usually there would be several other models waiting outside the room to meet with the person looking to hire her, but when she met with Cosby, no one else was there.
“When I walked through the door, there were headshots of models that I recognized from many agencies in Vegas, laying all over his table,” she told KNPR’s State of Nevada.
Lublin said the first meeting the famous comedian went well. According to her, Cosby was encouraging about her career and told her he would send her headshots to New York to see about getting her more modeling work.
When he called again for a second meeting, she assumed it was to update her about the results of the first meeting. However, when she got to the room, he asked her to do some improvisational acting.
“He said, ‘well try some improv.’ I said, ‘don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.’ And he went to the bar and fixed a shot and brought it back to me and said, ‘this will help relax you.’” she said.
Lublin said she tried to explain that she didn't drink alcohol but she said he insisted that she drink the shot to relax her.
“So, I trusted him. He’s America’s dad and thought he would only have my best interests at heart, so I ended up taking the shot. He returned to the bar got another shot and brought it back to me and gave me the second shot,” she explained.
She said not long after the second shot of alcohol she started to get woozy and she could feel the alcohol hit her stomach, “and I’m standing there and I realize that I’m starting to feel unsteady and the words that he’s saying to me really aren’t very clear.”
Lublin says she started to struggle with what Cosby was saying, but she did understand when he told her to come to him. She said he was sitting on a couch in the hotel suite and he told her to sit between his legs. She said he began stroking her hair.
“I remember thinking to myself I can feel his legs against the sides of my arms and when I did I thought to myself — this feels so weird. Do I leave my arms on my sides or do I pick them up and rests them on the tops of his thighs? What am I doing? I don’t get it. And I asked myself, what does this have to do with improv? I truly don’t understand this process,” she said.
"Then the next memory I have is looking at an area in the suite and seeing this kind of cubby area and there’s a light and I can see that I’m kind of moving toward it. And I’m thinking to myself, oh there’s a little cubby area with the light on. I remember the color of the walls. Then the next memory that I have is looking down a very long hallway and saying to myself — I didn’t realize this suite had so many doors, so many bedrooms. There’s like a whole line of them here. This thing is really huge. That’s the last memory that I have before waking up and when I woke up, I was at home.”
Lublin said at the time she thought she had gotten sick from the alcohol, took herself home and then stayed in bed for two days. She said she felt embarrassed that she had reacted that way to the drink.
“It was one of those stories where you go, ‘Oh my God! I was with Bill Cosby and I had a couple of drinks and I totally lost it.’”
She said for 25 years she believed she had had a bad reaction to the alcohol and had gone home.
That changed when her husband heard model Janice Dickenson tell the story of her encounter with Cosby.
“When he heard it, it was so similar to mine the only part was Janice could explain what had happened when she had passed out and she would wake up and she knew things that had happened during that time,” she said. “I could never piece those together because I didn’t know.”
After watching Dickenson recount what had happened to her, she felt better.
"It was a weird sense of relief because it was a weird situation,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t comfortable sitting between his legs and having him petting my head.”
Despite that uncomfortable situation early on, Lublin kept in contact with Cosby. He took her to the track at UNLV where she said he had her run the track and told other people at the facility that she was his daughter.
He took her and her mother to dinner several times after he would perform on the Strip. He would even call her sister regularly to try to talk to Lublin.
After the incident at the hotel suite, she always made sure someone else was with her went she meet Cosby but it wasn’t until she listened to Dickenson’s story and realized what happened to her that she understood why she would never be alone around him.
“I was losing it when I first realized what happened,” Lublin said.
She said she was trying to figure out how to cope with the realization, and wondered if she was somehow to blame.
But when she went to the Nevada Legislature in 2015 to get the statute of limitations for sexual assaults changed, she regained her personal strength and gained support from other sexual assault survivors and the law enforcement community.
Lublin said that experience helped her face Cosby and his attorneys in the courtroom.
“So, knowing all that and having all of that history behind me, sitting in that courtroom, he didn’t mean anything,” she said. “He was very sad and it was a little pitiful seeing him sit there and knowing you have done this to so many. This is horrific.”
Lublin said at first, she was intimidated by the thought of going to court to testify, but she said Cosby’s attorney did a poor job representing him and his attorney couldn’t find flaws in any of the testimony that she gave.
Lublin said she has found an incredible sisterhood with the other women Cosby assaulted.
“They don’t question one word you say when you tell your truth, not one word," she said. “They are there no matter what. If you’re having a hard day, you can call them and say anything you want.”
She said she is amazed at what they’ve been able to withstand and get through because many remember what happened to them but she doesn’t.
Lublin has used her experience to change laws around sexual assault and rape. She is now working on changing the statute of limitations on civil cases involving sexual assault. Currently, a complaint must be filed within two years. She said it takes time for victims to be able to talk about what happened and even more time to go to court about it.
“This needs to be abolished,” she said about the statute of limitations. “The statute doesn’t stop from having to prove whether or not the perpetrator is guilty or innocent it just allows the victim, when they’re ready, to be able to prosecute that person.”
Lublin was in her classroom when the jury reached a verdict in Bill Cosby’s case. Her husband called her with the guilty verdict.
“At times I want to celebrate, in a weird way it feels odd to celebrate, because it is a human being that caused all this chaos and hurt against other human beings, how do you celebrate knowing the circumstances?” she said. “So, it feels weird to celebrate and yet, I’m very happy. I’m happy that people are seeing the truth and the culture is changing about the way they see sexual predators. That’s hugely important.”
Lise-Lotte Lublin, Las Vegas activist
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