Cosby Survivor: “I’m Still Not Done Processing, and I Don’t Know When I Ever Will Be”


I'm still stunned that this happened to me, Patte O’Connor, a girl from Toledo, Ohio.


I was 24, recently out of graduate school, and in the first few months of my job as assistant director of activities at Clemson University the day I met Bill Cosby.


When I first started at Clemson, I was really excited. It was 1984 and a totally different culture and time than it is now. In hindsight, I was still quite naive. Coming from the background that I did—born and raised in Toledo, a very Catholic upbringing and education—I was pretty sheltered. White bread.


At the time, Clemson was on fire. It was a hot place to be, and we were ecstatic to have scored Bill Cosby to do a show as part of our homecoming events that year. The Cosby Show was at its height. Ratings were high and getting higher. So when my boss asked me to be Cosby’s personal assistant who would be charged with hosting him the day of the event, it was very big. The job was my life.


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