The Denver Post
The Denver agency
Jo Farrell operated her JF Images talent agency far fromHollywood in Denver, but she wielded such clout that she could make or break careers.
Farrell plays one of the more unusual roles in the decadeslong drama ofCosby and his accusers. She referred twowomen to Cosby who later alleged he sexually abused them: Barbara Bowman and Beth Ferrier.
Farrell is now83 and suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, said her daughter, Kathleen, who said in a recent interview that her mother retired five years ago and knewnothing about the claims of sexual abuse until they appeared in People magazine in 2006.
“It’s mind-boggling,” Jo Farrell told the magazine at the time. “I don’t set up interviews in bars. Here I am pulled in on this, and it makes me sad becausemy reputation has always been golden in this city.”
Farrell met Cosby at the Turn of the Century nightclub, which was near her talent agency. Kathleen Farrell said Cosby worked with a number of the agency’s young female clients through the years, taking them on outings and asking them to auditions. If she had heard complaints, she said, her motherwould have severed her relationship withCosby “to protect the girls.”
Farrell discovered Bowman, then 13, at a 1980 beauty pageant. She said Cosby came to town in 1984 and Farrell took Bowman, 17 at the time, to a comedy club for an audition.
Both Farrell and Cosby gushed that Bowman was destined for big things in the business and advised that she move to New York, where she could hone her craft. Cosby also brought her to theNewYork set of “The Cosby Show.”
“That was the bait: the promise of an audition, being seen and adored by a big name,” Bowman said. “And he enjoyed knowing that people knew he was the one who was discover- ing hot new talent.”
She said shewas “terrified” of Cosby and Farrell. “They isolated me and made me totally dependent on them,” she said.
Bowman said she saw an entirely different persona from the one Cosby played on television. Once, while at his brownstone inNewYorkCity, she said she blacked out after one glass of wine and awoke to find herselfwearing nothing but her underpants and a man’s T-shirt.
In another alleged incident in Atlantic City, N.J., she said Cosby pinned her down on a hotel bedwhile she screamed for help and he struggled to pull down his pants.
“I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up,” she told The Washington Post.
Cosby called her “a baby,” Bowman said, then he told her to go home to Denver.
Cosby’s attorneys had previously called her claims “absolutely untrue.”