A Florida woman who previously chose to remain anonymous when she made allegations against comedian Bill Cosby has revealed her identity.
Jennifer K. “Kaya” Thompson, who according to People magazine had been previously known as Jane Doe No. 2, came forward to support the more than three dozen women who have made public accusations of sexual misconduct against the comedian in the past few months. She revealed her story anonymously last November.
“It’s come to my understanding that there’s greater credibility for my testimony with a full name and an image,” Thompson, 44, who formerly went public only as “Jena T.,” told People in an exclusive interview published on Wednesday.
“I am so very grateful for the Jane Doe who came before me in the lawsuit 10 years ago,” she added. “At that time, to hear another woman’s support of one of Cosby’s victims by the admission of her own story was beyond affirming and I felt that a cloud that was above me began to lift off.”
She told the magazine that time helped in her decision to want to reveal her identity and be honest. She also said she wants her young nieces, who are fascinated with Hollywood, to understand the downside of celebrity worship.
Cosby has never been charged with a crime, and his lawyers have described the accusations as “utter nonsense.” One of his attorneys, Martin Singer, previously said, “People coming out of nowhere with this sort of inane yarn is what happens in a media-driven feeding frenzy.”
Singer didn’t immediately respond to msnbc’s request for comment on Thompson’s claims.
The 77-year-old performer has also denied the past allegations against him. In 2006, he settled a civil lawsuit with Andrea Constand, a woman who claimed he drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home near Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, three women have filed a defamation lawsuit against Cosby. Thompson isn’t included in any pending legal action against the comedian. But she told People she wants to stand up and support other women.
Thompson described her story to People, in which she was a 17-year-old from Maryland who visited a New York City modeling agency in 1988. There, she said, she was sent to meet Cosby during the height of his fame on ”The Cosby Show.” His interest in her developed into uncomfortable advances by Cosby, People reported Thompson as saying. She visited his home during a last encounter in the late 1980s. Cosby gave her $700 upon her departure.
The many accusations against Cosby, which began more than a decade ago, have resulted in the cancellation of his planned projects and appearances. Allegations of his sexual assault of multiple women resurfaced and began to draw national coverage in October of last year when comedian Hannibal Buress alluded to accusations against Cosby during a show.
Then, another one of Cosby’s accusers, Barbara Bowman, who claims to have been drugged and assaulted by Cosby decades ago, wrote an online column in The Washington Post last week detailing her experience.