US model Beverly Johnson latest to accuse Cosby of drugging her

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Trailblazing black supermodel Beverly Johnson came forward on Thursday with new accusations that comedian Bill Cosby drugged her decades ago, joining a slew of women who have accused the 77-year-old of abuse.

Johnson, 62, made her allegations in a first-person story published in Vanity Fair magazine titled "Bill Cosby Drugged Me. This Is My Story". Johnson's heyday as a model was in the 1970s and 1980s. She became the first black woman to appear on the cover of the fashion magazine Vogue in the US in 1974.

Johnson claimed she was drugged by Cosby and resisted his advances. Unlike other accusers who have come forward, the model does not make explicit sexual assault allegations against Cosby.

"My head became woozy, my speech became slurred and the room began to spin nonstop," Johnson wrote about the incident.

An attorney for Cosby declined to comment on the new allegations.

More than 20 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault and rape, most dating from decades ago.

Most allegations fall outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges. But one woman, former Playboy hostess Judy Huth, filed a sexual assault lawsuit in Los Angeles against the Emmy and Golden Globe winner.

In the wake of the renewed allegations, Cosby has cancelled public appearances and stepped down from his board of directors post at Temple University.

Johnson's story was similar to other allegations that have been brought against the entertainer.

The model said she received an audition for a part on television sitcom The Cosby Show in the mid-1980s, and Cosby took a personal interest in her small role that featured "one or two speaking lines". Cosby invited Johnson to his home and after a dinner encouraged her to practice her lines and pretend to be drunk, she claimed.

He offered her a cappuccino and insisted she drink it.

"I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I'd been drugged - and drugged good," Johnson wrote.

"As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic survival mode." Johnson claimed Cosby put his hand on her waist but she was coherent enough to swear at the comedian in anger.

The model said she remembers Cosby dragging her down stairs and into a cab before waking up in her apartment.

Johnson claims she tried to confront Cosby about the incident, calling his home, but was put off by his power and nonchalance.

"How could I fight someone that boldly arrogant and out of touch?", she wrote.

"In the end, just like the other women, I had too much to lose to go after Bill Cosby."