AN EX-Playboy Bunny who claims Bill Cosby drugged and raped her has hit out at the disgraced sitcom star’s “deep illness of the soul and of the psyche.”
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Victoria Valentino, 79, explained how Cosby dodged justice and led a double life for decades by hiding behind the “America’s Dad illusion” he had created.
After first coming forward seven years ago, she is speaking out again ahead of the premiere of the new Showtime documentary, We Need to Talk About Cosby, on January 22.
Cosby, 84, was released from prison in June on a legal technicality after serving just two and a half years of a possible 10-year sentence for aggravated indecent assault on former female basketball star Andrea Constand.
Victoria is one of 60 women who came forward to denounce Cosby – who gained worldwide fame in the 1980s as Dr Cliff Huxtable on NBC sitcom The Cosby Show – for sexually assaulting them.
She says the father-of-five drugged and raped her at an apartment in the Hollywood Hills in 1969 just weeks after her six-year-old son had drowned in a swimming pool tragedy at her home.
Explaining her view of why he abused women and how he got away with it for so long, grandmother-of-six Victoria said: “Dr Huxtable was an illusion and the cool Jell-O pudding guy and all the moralistic stuff that Cosby spouted was an illusion.
“Maybe that was who he wished he could be if he weren’t so mentally ill.
“Maybe that was what he aspired to, but his psychological disorders couldn’t possibly allow that to happen for him because of his obsessions, his compulsions, his sexual fetishes, his need to have a woman unconscious in order to be able to have sex with her.
“There’s a deep illness of the soul and of the psyche there.
“He really had a double life and even certain very close friends of his never knew that other side of him.”
Victoria took part in the new four-part Showtime documentary series about Cosby but says she has still not seen it.
The show is due to air on January 30 after it has received a virtual premiere at the Sundance film festival this weekend.
Although she has only read a transcript of her interview, Victoria says she fully trusts its Emmy-winning director W Kamau Bell.
She said: “Kamau Bell grew up adoring the image that Cosby portrayed.
“He was an icon, an example of professional possibility through his characters and his standup routines and the topics he discussed.
“I believe that it was very difficult for Kamau, who like so many other young black men looked to Cosby as a father figure – America’s dad.
“He forged a way for them to reimagine their role in American society and I know Kamau had a very difficult time accepting that this fine example of black professional manhood was not in fact the person he portrayed on the television or on the stage.
“It was crushing. Not just for him, but so many who in his generation who looked up to Cosby and what he represented.
“The documentary is his journey of trying to come to terms with the character that the actor portrayed versus the real character of the actor, the shadow life that he led, the shadow self, the sociopathic psyche that this man has.
“I think I’m a pretty decent judge of character at this stage of my life and I would not have interviewed for Kamau had I not really had a good feeling about who he was as a person.
“I feel that my image and my story are safe with him.”
Although the memories of what Cosby did to her and his release from prison are painful, Victoria does not believe that watching the documentary will reopen old wounds.
She said: “Having become a registered nurse in my later life, I have learned to be objective and establish a certain professional distance when it comes to trauma and suffering and pain and grief.
“While I’m not totally successful when it comes to my own trauma, I think I will be able to assess it from more of an artistic point of view.”
Cosby was released from prison in June after a panel of judges cited a 2005 decision by the then-district attorney not to prosecute him and vacated his conviction.
They wrote that the decision to prosecute Cosby has violated his “due process rights.”
Asked about how that decision had impacted her, Victoria said: “Initially of course it was just an adrenaline-pumping experience.
“I think it triggered everybody’s PTSD. We were all just shaken and it dredged up all of our pain and our outrage again.
“We had worked so hard and really had been astute about showing up at the trials, showing up at the sentencing, speaking to the media, speaking out for truth and justice, putting up with all of the personal attacks that we were liars, that we were gold diggers, that we were whores or whatever some random person decided to label us.
“Yet in the end, we felt that we had been vindicated and validated by his prison sentence and then all of a sudden all of our work was just vacated.”
The judges’ ruling is currently being appealed to the Supreme Court by current Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney Kevin Steele.
Victoria said: “Kevin Steele is just the most wonderful man. He has this kind of Jimmy Stewart style slow, easy-going way about him.
“I don’t know the details because I’ve just sort of had to put it out of my consciousness for a while because it was too upsetting but I know he is trying to reopen the case through the Supreme Court.”
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