A Canadian woman is adding her voice to the many women accusing television icon Bill Cosby of inappropriate behaviour. In an exclusive interview with Erin Cebula, Lisa Jones calls Cosby a “predator” and describes what she calls a “life-changing” experience with the legendary comedian that left her “terrified.”
Jones first met Cosby when she was a 17-year-old Ford model living in Vancouver. She says the actor contacted her modelling agency looking for girls he wanted to audition for a role on The Cosby Show. He later traveled to Vancouver for a stand-up comedy performance during Expo ’86 and invited Jones, along with her mother, backstage. “He was like a father figure,” she says. “He was so nice, he made jokes. And I felt that I could completely trust him.” Jones says her mother felt the same way and that Cosby asked her parents’ permission before taking her out to dinner.
Later, she received a phone call that Cosby wanted to audition her in New York for a potential role on his show. “They said we’d like to pay for you to come down. You’ll be auditioning the following day and you’ll need to be here in four hours.” Jones made the trip and was met at the airport at which point she assumed she’d be driven to her hotel. Instead, Jones claims, she was taken directly to Cosby’s New York residence. “I asked, ‘Why am I here?'” she says, “but you know this is a very important person in the industry at the time and you’re young and you’re not sure because it’s happening so fast.”
After an initial conversation, Jones alleges Cosby summoned her upstairs where he ordered her to remove her makeup and wet her hair and put it in a slicked back ponytail. She says the actor then started pouring her alcoholic beverages. “I kept thinking, ‘Am I legally allowed to drink in the United States?’ and he just said ‘No, you are going to drink. You’re in my home and that’s fine.'”
Jones says Cosby became “intense” and started explaining to her that the only way for women to get ahead in the industry was to sleep around. “He was very derogatory about women,” she claims, “very derogatory about how women were going to be successful in the industry and how women had gotten successful was by the casting couch.” Then, she alleges, Cosby became aggressive. “He, out of nowhere, started to walk past me, and crouched in front of my knees, grabbed my legs, and tried to pull them apart,” she describes. “I just remember I was so shocked.” Jones says she then fled Cosby’s home. “All I wanted to do was get out of there because I was in an unsafe environment and that’s what I did.”
Lisa told her parents but did not tell police about the incident, saying she was afraid of not being believed and of the possible backlash she’d face accusing such a powerful, successful man. “I’m in a foreign country and I’ve just pushed somebody away from me and I don’t know the repercussions of that,” she says. “I don’t think that many people would have such an easy time under that pressure.”
Jones says she’s coming forward now with her story because she wants to stand in solidarity with Cosby’s other accusers whose stories she believes. “I believe every word they say because I was there.” Jones also wants people to know Cosby’s alleged predatory behaviour extended north of the border. “I hope that if there’s any girl in Canada or woman at this time that this has happened to, I hope they can come and say something because there’s a relief in telling the truth.”
Bill Cosby’s representatives did not respond to our request for comment.
For more of Erin’s interview with Lisa Jones watch ET Canada tonight at 7:30 pm ET.