Joan Tarshis: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Another woman has come forward to accuse legendary comedian Bill Cosby of raping her. In an essay published on Hollywood Elsewhere, Joan Tarshis says she was raped twice by Cosby in 1969 when she was 19 years old.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Tarshis Said She Lied to Cosby About Having an Infection, But That Didn’t Stop Him From Raping Her

The Bill Cosby Show Joan Tarshis

In her essay, Tarshis, a former actress, who now works as a journalist, says she first met Cosby on the Universal lot in Los Angeles while he was filming The Bill Cosby Show in 1969. She says Cosby invited her to his bungalow at Universal Studios on a few occasions, where he proceeded to ply her with booze, even pouring beer into her bloody mary. On one such occasion, she says she lost consciousness:

The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed. Through the haze, I thought I was being clever when I told him I had an infection, and he would catch it, and his wife would know he had sex with someone. But he just found another orifice to use. I was sickened by what was happening to me and shocked that this man I had idolized was now raping me.

Tarshis adds that she was raped again by Cosby soon after when she attended a concert with him. She says she went to the show because Cosby had asked her mother if Tarshis could go. Tarshis says she couldn’t bear to tell her mother about the rape.

2. She Only Got the Strength to Come Forward After Hearing About Cosby’s Other Accusers

Bill Cosby Rape


Tarshis says she didn’t hear anybody accuse Cosby of rape until 2004. With Barbara Bowman’s recent open letter in the Washington Post, Tarshis feels the time is right for her to come forward. In that letter, Bowman says she was drugged and raped by Cosby during the 1980s.

3. Tarshis Was Bob Marley’s Publicist

Joan Tarshis Journalist


Tarshis has worked in journalism and in the media for over 30 years. According to her Media Bistro profile, she “has landed stories in every major newspaper, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. My clients also have been placed in Time Magazine, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, People, Newsweek – as along with TV magazine shows and local news. As a publicist, I was trained by the best in the biz!! And have a respected working relationship with all my fellow journalists, coordinators and publicists alike.” According to her LinkedIn page, she worked as a publicist for Bob Marley, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joan Jett.

She says that her best assignment was to South Africa, where she “was able to go on safari and live with the wonderful people of that country. I had found my Promise Land.”

4. She Used to Teach About Tantric Sex

Joan Tarshis Facebook Tantric Sex


According to her Facebook page, Tarshis lives in Woodstock, New York. She attended Hunter College in New York City. On her LinkedIn page, she writes that she studied performing arts and most recently studied cultural studies at Empire State College.

Her Facebook page shows her to be passionate about her cats, and she also writes that she worked at Tantra to Love, a company that teaches about tantric sex.

5. Cosby Has Dodged Questions About the Allegations

Joan Tarshis Bill Cosby


Cosby’s camp has denied all rape allegations leveled against the legendary comedian. In an NPR interview on November 15, Cosby refused to answer questions about the claims. His recent appearance on David Letterman’s show was canceled amid the allegations. The week before Tarshis’ letter appeared, a challenge issued through Cosby’s Twitter account asked fans to make the comedian into a meme. The challenge backfired horribly, with users taking the opportunity to bring up the rape allegations.

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