NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA — Lise Lotte-Lublin was a 23-year-old model when her agent called to tell her Bill Cosby wanted to mentor her.
She was thrilled.
She went to meet with him at the Las Vegas Hilton.
“When I walked in I saw several headshots — some of the girls I recognized — on the table,”she told a jury at Cosby’s trial on drugging and sexual assault charges Thursday afternoon. “I made the assumption, ‘He’s really looking for somebody.’ We talked for a bit. He said he’d send my photos to new York and have a modeling agency look at them and see what would be best for me, runway or commercial.”
The second time she met with him, her sister was with her and they all took a photograph together. He got to know her entire family, she said.
“He had a relationship with my mother where he would just call her on the phone and they would banter back and forth because she was in the field of psychology,”she said.
He even introduced her around as his daughter, she said.
So when he called her up and invited her to his hotel room to talk in 1989 she thought nothing of it.
She said she had no idea, no preparation for what would happen next. Not long after he gave her a couple of drinks to “help her relax,” she blacked out. She woke up two days later in her own bedroom with no idea how she got there.
For years she thought she just had a bad reaction to alcohol but, after seeing a TV interview with another Cosby accuser in November 2014, she came to believe that he had drugged and then sexually assaulted her, and she reported that to the police.
“I realized something else had happened,” she said, gasping and fighting off tears, “after I blacked out. I don’t know what it was but I believe I know what it was. There was a purpose for me to black out.”
Lotte-Lublin was the fifth woman to testify at Cosby’s criminal trial about allegedly being drugged and sexually assaulted by him. Cosby, 80, is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly doing the same thing to former Temple employee Andrea Constand, 45, at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania home in January 2004. Last June, Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill declared a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict in the case.
Cosby has denied Constand’s allegations as well as similar ones from more than 60 women.
O’Neill allowed Lotte-Lublin and four other women to testify at this trial about what happened to them because of the chilling similarities in their stories. They are so-called “prior bad act” witnesses to show a common, plan, scheme or design.
Lotte-Lublin, like the other four women that testified before her, said she trusted Cosby and viewed him as her mentor when she went to his hotel room that day in 1989.
“He talked to me about improvisation with acting, which I was completely unfamiliar with because I hadn’t done acting at that time,”she said. “He said he’d walk me through some improvisations. I looked confused because I was. He walked over to the bar, poured a shot and said,’Drink this. It will relax you.’
“I said, ‘I don’t drink,’” she said. “And he told me again it would relax me so the lines would flow a lot easier for the improvisations so I kinda trusted him because he’s America’s Dad; because he’s a figure people have respected for many years, including me… so I took the drink.”
Then he went back to the bar and made her another drink, she said, which she drank.
“Within a few minutes I started feeling dizzy,” she said. “Things that he was saying to me didn’t sound clear. I got woozy and then he asked me to come over and sit with him.”
Cosby was sitting on the edge of a couch in the suite, she said, and he motioned to her to sit on the floor with his legs on either side of her.
“I felt like I needed to sit down because I didn’t feel I could hold myself up,”she said. “He started stroking my hair back… I didn’t have the power to move or get up… I didn’t understand why he was touching me and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
The last thing Lotte-Lublin remembers is him walking her down a hallway in the suite toward the bedrooms.
“I don’t remember anything else from that night,” she said. “When I woke up I was at home. I thought I had been sick and laying in bed for the last two days and I didn’t know how I got home. I thought I had a reaction to whatever he gave me and that I got sick.”
She told her mother, her sister, her sister’s husband and her best friend what she thought happened and that’s how it stayed until November 2014 when her husband called her and told her about an interview he’d seen with model Janice Dickinson talking about Cosby drugging and sexually assaulting her.
“He said, ‘You’ve got to see this… A woman is saying she received items from Mr. Cosby, passed out and recalls being sexually assaulted by him,’” Lotte-Lublin said. “And I watched the interview and started to realize why I most likely passed out.”
She then reported the alleged sexual assault to Las Vegas police and successfully lobbied to have the statute of limitations for sexual assaults in Nevada extended to 20 years from four.
Lotte-Lublin stuck to her story throughout a 90-minute questioning by Cosby defense attorney Kathleen Bliss, who grilled her about being represented by attorney Gloria Allred, who at one point called on Cosby to create a $100 million fund to pay his victims.
Lotte-Lublin insisted she was not part of that effort and said the only things she wants from Cosby are: “An apology. Take responsibility for his actions. Some remorse.”
Her testimony followed a colorful 90 minutes of testimony from Dickinson, who kept apologizing for swearing and blurting out comments when she wasn’t supposed to as she went toe to toe with lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau.
As she got ready to leave the stand, she got confused when the defense said she was “subject to recall.”
“You mean I have to stick around? “she said.
Judge O’Neill tried to explain the legal term to her, as he seemed to feel she was getting frustrated with him.
“I’m just trying to advise you,” he said.
“I think you’ve been great,” she blurted out as the courtroom burst into laughter.
Then she added: “Law & Order is my favorite program.”