What It’s Like to Accuse a Celebrity of Sexual Assault

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In light of the resurfaced child sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen, Gawker reminded readers that Bill Cosby, too, was once publicly accused of sexual predation — in his case, allegedly drugging and raping thirteen women — then promptly exonerated in the public imagination. (Cosby wound up settling.) Newsweek tracked down one of the women, Tamara Green, to talk about the experience of accusing a beloved public figure. A model turned trial attorney, Green came forward twenty years after the attack, when she saw the story about another of Cosby’s alleged victims on the news.

What happened as a result?

It was a career ender when I came forward. All my clients were suddenly interested in whether I was a liar or a former hooker or a philanderer. People want their lawyers to be serious-minded intellectuals, honest and honorable people. It casts a shadow on your character if you dare to attack one of these icons. The whole community -- my neighbors, my friends, people in the industry [her ex husband is an Academy Award winning writer and producer] --  hinges your identity upon what happened. To come out and admit that you’ve had a guy’s hands all over you is disgusting to some people. People accused me of seeking my own fame, but I had a high profile of my own. I don’t need a rapist or child molester to make me famous.

Green tells Newsweek she’s since been in contact with more alleged Cosby victims not counted in the lawsuit, who didn’t want to come forward because “they did not want their husbands or their children or their social circles to know they had been his victims.” Can’t say I blame them, considering what Green and Farrow have been through.