‘This game isn’t fair anymore’
Accusers Recall Bill Cosby’s Reno House of Horrors
The house Baker-Kinney described being taken to in 1982 sounded like the same house Heidi Thomas testified Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her at in 1984.
NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA – When Janice Baker-Kinney’s colleague at Harrah’s in Reno invited her to a pizza party hosted by Bill Cosby she thought there would be a whole bunch of people there.
Instead when she arrived at the home where he was staying outside of Reno, one owned by the owner of Harrah’s and where celebrity performers sometimes stayed, she quickly discovered it was just the three of them.
“I kinda thought, ‘Oh, it’s just us. Not a real party,’” she told a Montgomery County jury Wednesday afternoon on the third day of Cosby’s trial on drugging and sexual assault charges. “I didn’t think to say, ‘I’m not staying if it’s just the three of us.’“
So they went inside.
“I thought I’d stay for a while, have a beer or two and a couple of slices of pizza,” she said.
And then Cosby offered her a Quaalude, followed by another.
“I took one from him and then he put a second one in the palm of my hand, closed my hand and said, ‘No. Take two of them. It’ll be OK,’ she said.
So she did.
“I thought, ‘Well, if Bill Cosby says it’s OK to take these it must be OK,’” she says. “I trusted him. I didn’t know that taking two was not a good idea.”
Baker-Kinney took the stand around 4 p.m. Wednesday, becoming the third woman to tell the jury about allegedly being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby.
Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple employee Andrea Constand, now 45, at his home in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania in January 2004. Last year, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict in the case. Cosby denies Constand’s allegations as well as similar ones from more than 60 women.
O’Neill has allowed five other women with similar tales to testify at the retrial. He denied two defense team motions for a mistrial Wednesday.
The house Baker-Kinney described being taken to back in 1982 sounded like the same house where Heidi Thomas, the first accuser who testified at the retrial, said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in 1984.
Baker-Kinney said after taking the two Quaaludes, they sat down to play backgammon.
“We weren’t that far into the game and I was looking down at the board and I was getting very dizzy,”she said. “Everything was blurry and my head was spinning. I recall vividly saying, ‘This game isn’t fair anymore’ and he asked me why. I said, Because I can no longer see the board.’And I face planted into the backboard. I fell forward and passed out.”
The next thing she remembers was waking up on a couch with her shirt unbuttoned and her pants unzipped.
“I heard Judy leaving, saying good-bye to him,” she said. “Mr. Cosby came over and sat down on the couch with me. He sat in the corner and he leaned my back into his chest, kinda like he propped me up… He had one arm over me and placed his other arm inside my shirt and was fondling me and then kinda went downward into the top of my panties.”
Then she recalled Cosby helping her up the steps to a bedroom.
“I was unable to walk without assistance and everything was still swirling and blurry,”she said.
Everything went black until she woke up the next morning when the phone rang. She and Cosby were in bed together naked.
“I apologized to Mr. Cosby because I was so mortified that I had passed out,” she said. “There was a sticky wetness between my legs and it felt like I’d had sex the night before.”
She got dressed and got ready to leave.
“Mr. Cosby stopped the door before I could leave and he looked at me very seriously and said, ‘Now this is just between you and me,’” she said.
She said she told her roommate, her sister and a best friend about what happened.
Under an aggressive cross-examination by Tom Mesereau, Cosby’s lead defense attorney, Baker-Kinney admitted she didn’t think about it as a rape until other women began coming forward with similar tales about Cosby a couple of years ago.
“I blamed myself,”she said. “Ten years ago [my husband] said, ‘That’s rape.’I said, ‘Well, I took the drugs.’ So I think the seed was planted a while ago but I didn’t utter those words until the past two years.”
Mesereau did his best to portray Baker-Kinney as a party girl who loved to drink and take drugs. She admitted using drugs at different times in her life but said while she was living in Reno she only drank alcohol.
Kathleen Bliss, another Cosby attorney, spent nearly two hours hammering away at Chelan Lasha and her allegations about Cosby.
Both Mesereau and Bliss tried to use the women’s representation by famed attorney Gloria Allred to say they were motivated by money, pointing out that Allred called on Cosby to create a $100 million fund for the victims at a press conference she held.
Sobbing, Lasha denied that, saying she didn’t know Allred was going to do that until she got to the press conference.
“I have a roof over my head, food in my mouth and a family that loves me,”she said, crying. “That’s all that I need.”
Mesereau will continue his cross-examination of Baker-Kinney Thursday morning.