Barbara Bowman's Story of Alleged Rape by Bill Cosby Begins in Denver

In 2006, performer Bill Cosby settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who said he'd drugged and sexually assaulted her. In a U.K. Mail story, Barbara Bowman says she was prepared to testify in the civil trial against Cosby before the matter was dropped. But now, years later, she's speaking out about what she describes as a similar tale of abuse at the hands of the entertainer -- and she says it all began at a well-remembered nightclub in Denver, where she grew up. Photos and details below.

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Turn of the Century, located at 7300 East Hampden, was among the toniest venues of its day, attracting some of the biggest names in live entertainment. That's where Bowman says she met Cosby circa 1985, when she was a seventeen-year-old student and aspiring actress. Here's an excerpt from the U.K. Mail piece:
"I was studying acting when my agent told me Mr Cosby was scouting for young talent and that I'd have a shot to be groomed by him personally. I was eager to please. This could be my big break.

"The first thing Mr. Cosby said when he met me in the conference room was, "I want you to go in the bathroom and wet your hair...then sit in this chair, shut your eyes and do an improvisation exercise with me."

"He wanted me to act completely drunk, wasted, while he stood behind me and stroked my neck and upper chest. He didn't touch me beyond that, on that day, but that's where it certainly started."
After that, Bowman maintains that Cosby made it a point to meet with her whenever he was in Denver, where she was raised from age nine, and flew her and family members around the country, including to New York City to see Broadway shows. But according to her, he was less interested in helping her achieve her acting dreams than in hotel room rendezvous and other encounters that she characterizes as sexually and emotionally abusive.

One time, she tells the paper, she's sure she was given a drugged glass of wine and fears she was sexually assaulted while incapacitated; on another occasion, she says Cosby threw her down on a bed and seemed ready to rape her, only to stop in the face of her continual screaming.

Cosby has consistently denied sexual abuse accusations leveled against him

Today, Bowman is an artist living in Scottsdale, Arizona. But her allegations have made headlines across the globe even as they've shone a light on a long-defunct nightspot that was once the height of Denver glamour.

To read the complete U.K. Mail article -- and it's a big one -- click here.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts