Playboy Playmate Victoria Valentino Reemerges To Reveal How ‘Liberating’ It Was To Speak Out Against Bill Cosby
Victoria Valentino, the September 1963 Playmate, just reemerged to pose for Playboy Magazine’s “Top 100 Centerfolds of the 20th Century.” As she took part in this historic edition of the magazine, she discussed what it was like to speak out in 2014 against comedian Bill Cosby, who she claims sexually assaulted her decades ago.
Valentino was one of about sixty women who accused Cosby of sexual assault, alleging that he attacked her shortly after the death of her 6 year-old son in an accidental drowning. Cosby, 82, has since been found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004, and he is currently serving a three to ten year sentence in federal prison.
When asked what speaking out against Cosby was like, Valentino told Fox News, “It was absolutely liberating and probably the most empowering thing I’ve ever done… It certainly helped me heal. I’m a survivor. I’m not broken… Finding my voice was the most amazing thing. It can be tempting to push away those horrible memories and not deal with them. But the infection is still there. Those layers build up with time.”
“And initially, it triggered a lot of PTSD. But after speaking out, you feel lighter,” she added. “You don’t even realize how much weight you had pulling you down, how much you’ve been carrying around with you. You also don’t realize how much it affects your relationships with other people, including your loved ones… It feels wonderful to feel encouraged and empowered to speak out. And in turn, you’re encouraging and empowering other survivors to share their truths.”
“We pushed that door open and we’re pleased to continue keeping it open… And so many others have come to me with their own personal stories — and I’ve heard stories that would make your toes curl… And there are people who won’t come out because it’s still too traumatizing,” Valentino concluded. “It’s still too painful.”
Valentino was also asked what posing for Playboy’s latest issue was like.
“At my age, being a Playmate is kind of an odd way to label myself,” she replied with a laugh. “But I’m glad to be part of Playboy history. It was just part of my life journey. And it’s been wonderful to connect with fellow Playmates. Even though my life went in a different direction, my image had a life of its own and it had a pretty strong fan base. But to be honest, I had no idea.”
In the end, Valentino is hoping that her own story will encourage other women to speak out about things that have happened to them.
“There’s so much unity now and we just need to keep it going,” she said. “We have to encourage people to continue speaking out and help them realize they don’t have to be ashamed. It’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the perpetrator and they have to suffer the consequences of their actions. They don’t have to endure that anymore. We are still here and standing.”