40 Years Recall: Bill Cosby, Kathy McKee, and Revenge

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[Commentary]

Kathy McKee  is a woman who  started out in the 1960’s  like so many young women who venture to Vegas with  a dream of a show business career. She had  ambition, dance training, a good mind and the boldness to pursue her dream.

She got a job at that time though, by her own account, by “passing for white” in Las Vegas in 1965 dancing in a review called Vive Les Girls.  Her website indicates that she is a 32 year member of the Screen Actors Guild who has had a successful career as an actress, dancer, and talk show host but in recent years has worked teaching these skills to others.

In her youth, Kathy McKee starred in the feature film Quadroon, and appeared on numerous TV programs such as Sanford and Son, Good Times, Police Woman, Bill Cosby Show and Saturday Night Live.  Even so, especially the last couple of decades, she has never gotten the kind  or amount of national exposure in the press  that she has gotten  on one day this week.

Her new, though perhaps transient, fame has accrued to her by virtue of her having recently accused Bill Cosby of yet one more incident of sexual assault. In fact Ms. Mckee is one of only a few of the long list of women who accuse Cosby of flat out rape. Ms. McKee says that this incident occurred in Detroit in the early 1970’s over 40 years ago, relatively early in her long career.    

What the white press thinks of that long career, however, is revealed in the reductionist Daily News headline that appears when one searches for the story about that alleged rape.  It reads,  “EXCLUSIVE: Bill Cosby accused of raping Sammy Davis' ex-gal.” That’s how The Daily News identified her, after a distinguished show business career, Sammy Davis’ ex Gal.

At McKee’s own website she identifies Sammy Davis as her mentor whom she met in the 1960’s a decade she identifies as “The Rat Pack Era.”   She also writes that during that era, Sammy Davis offered her the position of “Mistress of Ceremonies” in his Las Vegas nightclub act. In a Daily News edited video interview which is posted on line, she  further identifies herself as Sammy’s “Road wife” and lover. Even though,  from 1970 to 1990 when he died Sammy was in fact, actually, legally married to Altovise Davis.

If Ms. McKee said no at any time during the alleged rape that occurred in Cosby’s Detroit hotel room,  that fact  is not mentioned in the exclusive article in the Daily News. Whatever McKee’s relationship to Davis, the Cosby incident as recounted in the article takes the phrase, “No means No,” to a new level.

“No" said 40 years later means "No?”  Interestingly, McKee does  not accuse Cosby of drugging her or giving her  drinks that rendered her helpless. Instead, in the article she emphasizes the lightning speed with which Cosby initiated and apparently completed his attack as the factor which prevented her from  resisting. The Daily News quotes her as saying, "He spun me around, pulled my panties down, and just took it.”

If this incident had not happened over 40 years ago and if Cosby had any legal reason to offer a defense, such a defense would undoubtedly address the issue of consent. It would also use some of the remarks attributed to Ms. McKee in the Daily News article regarding her own thoughts after the alleged rape.  She admits that she had thoughts such as ‘What the f---?’ Why didn’t I stop it and get him away from me?”

Cosby would undoubtedly also agree with another one of her mental speculations after the incident. She says she thought to herself, “Maybe he thought that’s what I wanted too.” The article said that after the alleged rape, she “fled” to the bathroom to compose herself.  After she composed herself and Cosby got dressed, they, the married, Bill Cosby and  the road married,  Kathy McKee went to the boat party together as they had planned to do prior to the alleged rape.

Ms. McKee says that at the Boat Party Cosby was “rude and cold” toward her,  so much so, that she made up her mind, “When this boat docks, I’m out of here.”  Otherwise—if he had not been cold and rude at the boat party, what, one wonders?

Ms. McKee says she psychologically buried this incident and goes on to speak with a “matter of fact” authority about how common such incidents are in show business and how Cosby is not the only powerful man in Show business who operates as she described. She also acknowledges that she did not say a word to Sammy Davis about this. Unlike some of the women who allege they were terrified of Cosby’s power in the industry, Ms. McKee had the mentorship of road husband Sammy Davis who was a man of equal if not greater power in the industry than Cosby.  She says that in the context of all the women who have been coming forward, this buried incident “flushed out.” That’s her word, flushed.

What does it all mean?  Either it means someone has coordinated a hell of a media lynching attack against Cosby or a lot of women with whom he had sexual contact wanted to be the second person on line to punch him in the nose.  It might also mean that in the current onslaught Cosby is viewed metaphorically as a rich punch drunk senior  staggering with $300 million hanging out of his pocket just for the taking. Either way,  It is a hell of a revenge story. It brings to memory a famous line in  Cosby’s classic story about revenge with a snow ball.

In that story substitute the word JULY! With the phrase. “FORTY YEARS LATER!” 

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