Kristina Ruehli, 77, has shared the story of her experience with Bill Cosby several times over the years – including to lawyers for Andrea Constand in 2005, when she became one of Jane Doe’s accusers who said they would support Constand’s story that he was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby in 2004, had the lawsuit gone to trial.

Since Cosby settled with Constand in 2006, for an amount that later turned out to be nearly $ 3.4 million, Ruehli has never testified in court. But during the flood of accusations against Cosby in 2014, when 60 women made similar allegations about the comedian’s sexual predation, Ruehli publicly accused him, first in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, then on CNN and elsewhere.

Reached Friday at her home in New Hampshire, Ruehli recalled that time: “We started the #MeToo movement. We were doing!”

As the charges mounted, Cosby’s attorney and spokespersons first responded, issuing dazzling denial statements. But as the numbers grew, they stopped responding to the allegations – and Cosby never testified at trial.

“By his silence, Cosby ceded his power to us,” Ruehli said.

This week, Cosby was released from jail after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction against Constand. The decision was on a legal technicality, but Ruehli takes Cosby’s release somewhat eagerly. “He’s free to do what?” she said. “How many people will even pay attention to him?” “

“And certainly people won’t want to interview him or anything – because we know“Ruehli said.” And that’s a silly thing he got into. I mean, it’s just ridiculous.

A spokesperson for Cosby declined to comment.

In 1965, when she was 22, Ruehli was working at an arts agency in Beverly Hills, and Cosby came to the office for a meeting. He invited her to a party at his house. When she arrived, however, there was no one else there – except for one of Cosby’s children, who he showed her asleep in a crib, she said. Cosby gave Ruehli a drink, and soon after that she doesn’t remember anything – until, according to her, she wakes up trying to force her to give him a blowjob. She felt sick and went to the bathroom to throw up. When she left the bathroom, Cosby was no longer there, so she went home. She never saw him again in person.

“I escaped him by a happy combination of circumstances,” she said.

Ruehli immediately told her boyfriend what had happened, she said, and over the years she told a lot of other people, including her daughter, who was watching “The Cosby. Show “at the height of its popularity. She also told her daughter to always watch her when she was with men. In the timeline of the charges against Cosby, her 1965 story is always the first: but she knows another woman predating that one who never came forward.

When Ruehli read Constand’s story in 2005, she contacted the attorneys representing Constand to say, “Hey, the same thing happened to me. She was ready to do whatever was necessary to support Constand.

Ruehli only learned later that a dozen women – then strangers to each other – had also come to Constand’s lawyers, alleging Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them. “I thought I was the only one, then after calling Constand’s lawyers, I thought I was the only one other one, ”she said.

Asked about the 2014 Flood, which ended Cosby’s career and ultimately led to his arrest and conviction for assaulting Constand, Ruehli said: “It was horrible.” She was fed up with doing the press every time something new happened and didn’t get along with some of the “mean girls” as she put it among the other accusers. She did not take part, for example, in the now famous New York cover in which 35 women told their stories about Bill Cosby. “I got to a point where I moved away from it,” Ruehli said.

“There was a bright spot,” she added. “New Hampshire is a very small state. And so we have 1.4 million people here. So a lot of people would see me on TV, and people would walk up to me in the bathroom and say, “I want to thank you very much. My daughter was raped when she was 14 and has never told me so far. ‘ I’ve been thanked a lot of people here in New Hampshire. But other than that, it was horrible.

Ruehli sued Cosby for libel in 2015, claiming he called her a liar after she told her story. But she withdrew the lawsuit in June 2016, even after a judge paved the way for her claim, dismissing Cosby’s petition to dismiss it. She got the vindication she wanted, she said, after her 1965 boyfriend said in a statement that he remembered what she told him at the time.

She took a look at Cosby’s criminal trials, she said, the first of which resulted in a suspended jury, the second of which led to her conviction.

Ruehli has nothing but admiration for the Pennsylvania prosecutors who brought Cosby to justice: “I have a great deal of respect for the people who sidelined him in Pennsylvania. It was not easy.

“I was very happy when he was sentenced,” Ruehli continued. “I felt really happy for the other women – some of them were really damaged, I have to tell you. Something like this that you’ve been living with for years, and you’ve been raped or sodomized most of the time. And so they had had a pain that never went away. And that again did not go. And in fact, it’s worse for them now.

Ruehli, however, is relatively at peace with Cosby’s release.

“For me, he was gone forever – and he’s gone forever now,” Ruehli said. “It’s just a different way of looking at it. He’s still in prison, as far as I’m concerned.

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