Showtime’s ‘We Need to Talk About Cosby’ is a four-part docuseries where comedian W. Kamau Bell looks into Bill Cosby’s life and the recent sexual assault allegations against him. The first episode focuses on Cosby’s start in the standup comic world and how his work shaped future comedians. It touches upon the allegations, with Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy Playmate, talking about how Cosby once allegedly sexually assaulted her. So, if you’re wondering what happened, here’s what we know.
Who is Victoria Valentino?
Victoria is originally from Connecticut but moved to California after graduating high school. Over there, she married a Cuban man, and together they had a son, Tony. At the time, her husband was an aspiring photographer and had sent her pictures to Playboy. Soon, Victoria became the Playmate of the Month for September 1963 at just 19 years old. On the personal front, though, she recalled her husband’s violent nature and how she left with her son one day.
Another personal tragedy struck Victoria when Tony, then six years old, drowned in a pool in September 1969, leading her to be depressed. Around this time, Victoria’s friend, Francesca Emerson, urged her to meet Bill Cosby for a potential role on his show, ‘I Spy.’ So, in early 1970, Victoria met Cosby at a restaurant along with her roommate, Meg Foster. Earlier, Cosby had paid for the women to have a relaxing spa day.
Towards the end of their dinner, though, Victoria stated that Cosby gave them a red pill and said to them, “It’ll make you feel better. It’ll make all of us feel better.” According to Victoria, she and Meg struggled to keep themselves together and began to slur their words. Then, Cosby drove them to an apartment in Hollywood Hills, California, instead of taking them home; he wanted to show them some memorabilia from his show.
Victoria remembered that Meg passed out inside and saw that Cosby was near her friend with a “bulge in his pants.” After Victoria tried to reach out, she recollected something horrific happening to her. The former model said, “At first, he ignored me. And then suddenly, he got up with this really pissed-off look on his face and walked over to me. His zipper was undone. He grabbed my head. He orally raped me and then turned me around, and vaginally raped me. When he finished, he walked out.”
After it was over, Cosby asked them to call a cab to get home. However, Victoria didn’t report the incident to the police. She said, “What kind of credibility did I have? In those days, it was always the rape victim who wound up being victimized. You didn’t want to go to the police. That’s the last thing you wanted to do back then.” Victoria then struggled with what happened and dealt with suicidal thoughts.
Where is Victoria Valentino Now?
Victoria moved to Louisiana in the following years, where she had two daughters. She then moved back to California, got a degree in nursing, and worked in hospice care for a long time. Victoria made her story public in 2014, during the Me Too movement when many others accused Cosby of sexual assault. Regarding that, she said, “It was absolutely liberating and probably the most empowering thing I’ve ever done… It certainly helped me heal.”
Victoria has further stated that her work helping others, in turn, helped with her healing. When Cosby was ordered to stand trial in one of the sexual assault cases, she felt like the justice system was finally doing its job. Furthermore, Victoria also pushed to have the statute of limitations removed when it came to sexual assaults. Today, she lives in California, runs her own aftercare clinic, and holds workshops about recovery from sexual assault and domestic abuse.