Victoria Valentino, a former playboy model, spoke up against Bill Cosby after remaining silent for 40 years in 2014.
Valentino accused him of sexual assault along with 60 other women, however, Cosby’s legal team has continued to deny all allegations.
Bill Cosby is currently serving a 3 to 10 years sentence in Philadelphia for drugging and raping a woman in 2014. Valentino was also present at both of his trials and mentioned that it was very important for her to be there because it gave her closure.
Valentino described her experience of speaking out, claiming that it was absolutely liberating. Furthermore, she added that it was very empowering for her and it helped her in healing.
She also proudly stated that she is a survivor, and this does not mean she’s broken or damaged. She also went on to say that there were times when she wanted to push the memories away and bury them but speaking up about them felt amazing.
Even though the memories of the incident triggered her PTSD, she expresses that talking about it feels therapeutic. It was also affecting her relationships because it was a constant weight on her chest.
She is proud that she could encourage other survivors to come forward and empower them to share their personal experiences. Others, she mentioned, are still reluctant to speak out because of how traumatizing this experience is.
She went on to share how previously people were hesitant to speak up because victim-blaming was a huge part of our society. Moreover, she believes that the environment is changing, and they have created spaces to allow people to come forward and share their truth.
People don’t have to be silent anymore or feel ashamed, she emphasized. She reassured that in these cases, although the victim blames themselves, it is not their fault. The blaming finger should always be pointed at the perpetrator.
She also talks about how she left the show business industry for years and did not want to go back to it because of the horrible memories associated with it.
She chose to pursue a career as a hospice nurse and helped people through trauma and loss. Being able to support people who had been through similar experiences was an important part of her healing process.