Why One Woman Testified Against Bill Cosby: ‘I Had the Strength’

Then this month, she appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom. Sitting on her arms as a result of they had been shaking a lot, she grew to become one in all the few amongst Mr. Cosby’s dozens of accusers to face him once more, serving to safe his felony convictions on Thursday for sexually assaulting a former Temple University worker.

“I realized I had the strength to look in the face of somebody who would commit a crime like this,” Ms. Lublin, 51, stated in a telephone interview from her Las Vegas dwelling. “I knew I was strong enough to say, ‘You won’t whip me, you won’t hold me down, and you won’t shut me up.’ ”

That the jury convicted Mr. Cosby on retrial, after a hung jury final summer time, may be attributed partly to the new cultural consciousness born out of the #MeToo motion. But in his remarks after the verdict, the Montgomery County district lawyer, Kevin R. Steele, praised the witnesses for his or her braveness, saying they had been essential to the case.

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Ms. Lublin along with her husband, Benjamin, throughout a break in her testimony on April 12.

Credit
Mark Makela/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

He additionally referred to as every of them individually to convey his gratitude and, choking up, informed Ms. Lublin that as a result of she and the different witnesses had stepped up, they had been in a position to win the case.

In 1989, Ms. Lublin was 23, residing in Las Vegas, her hometown, and modeling to assist pay for school when she was summoned by her company to satisfy Mr. Cosby. Guessing he had seen her portfolio footage, she went.

On their second assembly, she stated, he invited her to his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton, as a result of he needed her to apply improvising, although she wasn’t an actor. He gave her alcohol to chill out, she stated, and shortly afterward she felt woozy and sick, like she would possibly topple.

Mr. Cosby beckoned her over, she stated, pulled her down between his legs, in order that her again was towards his groin, and commenced stroking her hair. Ms. Lublin remembers questioning why he was doing that, and that she couldn’t perceive a phrase he was saying. She has just a few fractured recollections of being guided by him down a hallway of the suite, after which nothing, till she awakened at dwelling in her mattress.

Ms. Lublin was mortified, however not, at the time, due to something Mr. Cosby may need achieved. “I looked at it as ‘Oh my god, Lisa, you got sick from alcohol; you don’t even remember how you got home,’” she stated.

When Mr. Cosby reached out to her once more, and even cast a friendship along with her mom, she felt reassured: Maybe her blackout habits hadn’t been that unhealthy. Ms. Lublin stated she and Mr. Cosby met a number of instances after that — although by no means alone — and that at his urging, she started working at a observe as he appeared on.

When bystanders requested what Mr. Cosby was doing there, Ms. Lublin stated he replied, “I’m out here with my daughter, Lisa.” (Lisa is the identify she goes by.) Eventually they fell out of contact.

After Ms. Dickinson went public along with her story late in 2014, Ms. Lublin started reconsidering what actually occurred at the resort that night time.

“I started to kind of accept that, yeah, something has happened to you,” she stated. Her mom, outraged at feeling hoodwinked herself, started calling tv exhibits, and Ms. Lublin discovered herself on “Dr. Phil,” publicly recounting her story for the first time.

It took her six weeks to muster the braveness to file a police report, however when she did, a detective informed her there was nothing they might do; an excessive amount of time had handed.

Ms. Lublin felt like she had been punched, however then rebounded. “I’m a fighter,” she stated. In 2015, she efficiently urged Nevada legislators to increase the statute of limitations for bringing ahead rape prices to 20 years from 4 years, although the change doesn’t apply retroactively.

Ms. Lublin stated she by no means hid what was happening from her youngsters, a daughter who’s now 11 and a son, now 13, or from her sixth-grade college students, who typically got here up after class, asking if it was her that they had seen on TV. “Yes,” she stated she replied, “And I’m working to change laws to protect you.”

When vicious on-line feedback about her — detractors referred to as her a “liar” and a “whore” — inevitably surfaced, one scholar wrote again, “Ms. Lublin’s my teacher, and she’s a wonderful person.”

In 2017, as prosecutors had been making ready to attempt Mr. Cosby on prices of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, the former Temple worker, detectives contacted Ms. Lublin and informed her she may be referred to as as testify as a “prior bad acts” witness who might assist show a sample of legal habits by Mr. Cosby.

“One of the reasons the district attorneys picked Lisa was when they heard her talking about him petting her hair,” her husband, Benjamin Lublin, stated. “That was a marker for them.”

She wasn’t referred to as for Mr. Cosby’s first trial. Then, in mid-March, simply earlier than the Lublins left for a spring break cruise to Mexico, the affirmation got here. Ms. Lublin was going to be one in all 5 girls referred to as to bolster Ms. Constand’s testimony. The district lawyer’s workplace flew her and her husband to Philadelphia on a red-eye flight April 9.

Just a few days later, a detective picked them up from their resort and drove them to the courthouse. They had been deposited in a witness room, the place they performed with Turks, the russet Labrador therapy dog the prosecutors had introduced in to appease individuals’s nerves.

To additional loosen issues up, Mr. Lublin arrange his Bluetooth audio system, started taking part in his favourite nation singer, Jon Pardi, and pulled out a favourite card recreation, Sequence.

Early in the afternoon, a courtroom officer got here and escorted Ms. Lublin, her husband by her aspect, to a courtroom door close to the jury field. Ms. Dickinson, who had simply testified, emerged from the door. The pair embraced, after which Ms. Lublin stepped in.

“Just get safely to the podium, and don’t trip,” she informed herself. The witness stand seat shocked her — it was like a bar stool with a again. She sat down, and commenced slowly scanning the courtroom. “Take this in,” she stated to herself.

She noticed Gloria Allred, the lawyer who had dealt with a few of Ms. Lublin’s publicity and represented a lot of Mr. Cosby’s accusers, together with some in the courtroom, girls Ms. Lublin had turn out to be shut with over the years. She averted assembly their eyes. “Locking eyes would expose my vulnerabilities, and I’d either cry or laugh,” she stated.

She needed to return throughout as calm and poised, and sat tall. Only after that did she see Mr. Cosby, far off to her left, in the nook, not trying her manner. “He looked pitiful,” she stated.

The solely particular person she felt barely intimidated by, she stated, was Mr. Steele, the district lawyer. “He’s got eyes of steel, too,” she stated.

She immediately received the chills, and felt herself quaking, so she shoved her arms beneath her thighs. “The shaking was uncontrollable,” she stated, “but my mind was clear.”

A prosecutor, Kristen Gibbons Feden, questioned her for an hour, after which turned it over to one in all Mr. Cosby’s legal professionals, Kathleen Bliss.

Ms. Lublin had girded herself for a grilling, however in contrast with Ms. Bliss’s questioning of Ms. Dickinson, whom she would later name a “failed starlet,” Ms. Lublin stated her personal cross-examination felt virtually toothless.

She stated Ms. Bliss pressed for inconsistencies in Ms. Lublin’s outdated statements about altering Nevada’s statues and about assembly with Ms. Allred. Ms. Lublin discovered herself bickering with Ms. Bliss, getting snippy and worn down, however she by no means wavered. “The story doesn’t change when you tell the truth,” she stated in the interview final week.

Ms. Lublin was again in her classroom of 25 sixth graders on Thursday when her husband referred to as with information of the verdict. Hours later, at dwelling, she nonetheless discovered herself shocked, and pacing. “At some point,” she stated, “I just gotta let myself feel.”

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