Barbara Bowman is one of dozens of women who claim to have been raped by comedian Bill Cosby. She has said that Cosby raped her in the 1980s while she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress. She said she was drugged by the comedian after accepting drinks and "would end up waking up half-naked, throwing up in his toilet with him holding my hair out of my face."
She said that on one occasion Cosby tried to smother her and put his hands around her neck.
Now Bowman, 47, along with the sexual assault prevention group Promoting Awareness-Victim Empowerment, is seeking to strip Cosby of his Presidential Medal of Freedom and several other awards.
Some of the awards to be targeted by Bowman and PAVE are the NAACP Image Award, given to Cosby on multiple occasions (in 1967, 1992, 2001 and 2007). The NAACP also gave an award to former President Bill Clinton in 2001.
Critics of Cosby's treatment in the national press have alleged a double standard when it comes to the comedian and the former president, saying that Clinton's career is doing just fine despite numerous accusations of rape and sexual assault, which gained national attention when it was discovered he had an extra-marital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
But Bowman told the Washington Examiner that she doesn't "see any parallel" between the two men.
"I've never heard that Clinton was drugging and raping women," Bowman said. "Bill Cosby is accused and has drugged at least me and is alleged to have done the same thing to up to 48 other women. And so I don't see any parallel."
Asked specifically about the rape accusations and Lewinsky, Bowman said she could only speak for herself.
"I have no real comment on the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky situation because I wasn't there and I really don't necessarily see a parallel," Bowman said.
On the broader issue of whether Cosby should be erased from history — reruns of his former television shows are being pulled from networks — Bowman didn't protest.
"I believe that Bill Cosby is the most prolific and notorious serial rapist that this country has ever seen," Bowman said. "The crime against me and the crimes against anyone else that he has drugged against their will and taken sex or molested or violated their body in any way without their consent is hideous and despicable and inexcusable."
As for revoking Cosby's Medal of Freedom, Bowman was adamant that it be done.
"The man should not disgrace that award by having it," Bowman said. "It's disgraceful to the integrity of the award and to the recipients who deserve it. It's a slap in the face."
The renewed interest in revoking Cosby's award comes after the release of documents showing the comedian admitted to giving drugs to women he wanted to have sex with. Cosby didn't admit to any criminal wrongdoing in the deposition, but the admission has been seen as vindication to his more than three dozen accusers.