Rosemary Williams Of 'My Five Wives' Says Father Sexually Abused Her
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A woman featured in a reality TV show about a polygamous family is going public about sex abuse she claims she suffered as a child in hopes of changing a culture of secrecy plaguing plural families in Utah.
Rosemary Williams of "My Five Wives" on TLC says she was molested more than two decades ago by her father, Lynn A. Thompson and published her claims in a blog. He is the leader of the one of largest organized polygamy groups in Utah, the Apostolic United Brethren, or AUB.
The AUB is estimated to be the second-largest polygamist church in Utah behind Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the Utah-Arizona border. Unlike Jeffs' group, which has been plagued for years by allegations of abuse and child brides, the Apostolic United Brethren in northern Utah has a clean reputation.
Thompson said the allegations were not true when contacted by The Associated Press on Friday. He did not immediately respond to a phone message on Saturday.
Rosemary Williams says her father fondled her when she was 12 years old. She told The Associated Press that she does not plan to file a criminal accusation or a lawsuit against her father because she doesn't think that will do any good. She says she wants to prevent him from abusing others, especially given his recent appointment as president of the AUB, which has up to 7,500 followers across the West.
Williams also hopes to be an advocate for abuse victims in patriarchal societies like the one she was raised in, where families are often fearful to report crimes out of concern they may be prosecuted under polygamy laws. She doesn't believe sex abuse is widespread among the polygamous group, but she wants mothers to be able to come forward and report it and other forms of abuse when they occur.
"The reason people are afraid to say anything is because they are upholding somebody in a position of authority and they're taught to respect them," Williams said. "They are afraid of the repercussions. They are afraid of Utah coming down on them and carrying their kids out of their home."
A search of criminal charges available online show no record of any criminal convictions for Thompson, and the Utah Attorney General's Office is unaware of any formal complaints submitted against Thompson, said spokeswoman Missy Larsen. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he couldn't comment on the matter.
David Watson, a spokesman for the AUB, didn't return multiple phone calls from The AP.
Rosemary Williams is Brady Williams' third wife. He and his five wives and their combined 24 children are featured in the TLC reality show, "My Five Wives." They decided to do the show in part to demonstrate that polygamy can be healthy and stable. They live in a rural community outside of Salt Lake City Lake City where most people belong to the group Thompson leads.
They no longer are members of the group. They slowly withdrew during the mid-2000s after re-evaluating their core beliefs. They still practice polygamy, but only because they are happy doing so, not out of the fear of hell or the promise of heaven, Brady Williams says.
She said she recently confronted her father about what happened. He said he didn't remember and that he would pray to God to remember what happened. She reported the abuse recently to another high-ranking church leader, but nothing was done, she said.
Rosemary Williams became choked up and was unable to talk while discussing the reaction she expects from family and friends who are still members of the polygamous group.
"She knows that it will be very strong reprisal," said Brady Williams, explaining why his wife couldn't speak. "Her family will probably disown her along with many of her friends."
There was no immediate response from TLC.
‘Wizard Of Oz' Original Cowardly Lion Costume Up For Auction
What can be better than receiving a Wizard’s gift? Buying a “Wizard of Oz” original costume.
Woody Harrelson Didn't Know Liam & Chris Hemsworth Were Brothers At One Point
Everyone knows who Chris Hemsworth is. Not only does the actor play Thor, but he was just named People's Sexiest Man Alive. Woody Harrelson, however, didn't realize that his "Hunger Games" co-star Liam Hemsworth was the "Thor" star's brother.
In an interview for "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" from last year that's been making the rounds again, Harrelson has the major realization that the Hemsworth brothers are related. As Liam is talking to the interviewer, whose first name is also Chris, about his brother's upcoming film, you can see a look of astonishment cross Harrelson's face. “Jesus, I never got that he was your brother,” Harrelson says to Hemsworth. “Until just now. I honestly never put that together."
Harrelson may have helped solved one of TV's greatest murder mysteries earlier this year in "True Detective," but when it comes to last names, things go right over his head.
Watch the interview above and fast forward to 3:52 to witness Harrleson's discovery.
Bill Cosby Controversy: A Decade In The Making
The sexual assault allegations that recently resurfaced against Bill Cosby first became public in 2005 when a former employee of his alma mater, Temple University, claimed he had drugged and abused her a year earlier at his suburban Philadelphia home. Here's how the controversy over the allegations, some dating to the 1960s, has unfolded since then:
___ Andrea Constand tells police in her native Ontario, Canada, on Jan. 13, 2005, that Cosby assaulted her a year earlier at his mansion in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. She said he invited her home after a restaurant dinner, gave her pills for stress and tension, then helped her to a sofa when she became dizzy and sick. She recalled him touching her breast and placing her hand on his penis, and said she awoke with her clothing in disarray and bra undone. She said she drove herself home and decided not to report to police what happened due to Cosby's fame and her position as a Temple women's basketball administrator. Instead, she said she contacted a lawyer who deals with sexual assaults.
Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. decides after a monthlong investigation that there's not enough "credible and admissible evidence," a year after the alleged crime, to prove any charges. Castor adds that he won't divulge details to avoid tainting a possible civil action by Constand, and says "Much exists in this investigation that could be used to portray persons on both sides of the issue in a less than flattering light."
Cosby's lawyer says the comedian "looks forward to moving on with his life," and Cosby makes his only published comments to date about these allegations, telling the National Enquirer that "I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status."
Constand then sues Cosby alleging battery, assault, infliction of emotional distress, defamation and invasion of privacy. She makes the same allegations cited in the summary of her complaint to Canadian police, but also alleges that he "digitally penetrated her." Her suit eventually names nine women — Tamara Green and eight Jane Does — as witnesses who would testify about prior sexual assaults.
Tamara Green appears on NBC's "Today" show on Feb. 10, 2005, saying that Constand's allegation about being drugged and assaulted compelled her to speak publicly about an encounter she said she had with Cosby in the 1970s. She says Cosby groped and fondled her at her Los Angeles apartment after immobilizing her with what he said was cold medicine. Cosby's lawyer calls the allegations "absolutely false," and says Cosby did not even recognize her name.
Beth Ferrier, identified as Jane Doe No. 5, goes public on June 23, 2005, alleging that as a model in New York in 1984, she met Cosby and they had a brief affair. She claims Cosby drugged her coffee during an encounter in Denver and she woke up hours later in the backseat of her car with her clothes disheveled.
Janice Dickinson, in a June 6, 2006, radio interview with Howard Stern, describes Cosby as a "bad guy" and says he "preys on women." She says her publishing company forced her to downplay passages in a 2002 memoir about an alleged encounter the model and comedian had 20 years earlier. The book says Cosby was upset when she declined to go to his hotel room, saying "After all I've done for you, that's what I get?"
Barbara Bowman is named in a June 9, 2006, Philadelphia magazine report as one of the Jane Does giving depositions or statements in support of Constand's lawsuit. Constand and Cosby settle their claims out of court for an undisclosed sum that November, but it doesn't stop People magazine from publishing a detailed account of Bowman's allegations a month later. Bowman tells People that Cosby won her trust as an 18-year-old aspiring actress in 1985 and drugged and assaulted her multiple times in Reno, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Eight years pass.
In January 2014, The New York Times publishes an open letter by Dylan Farrow accusing another celebrity — her stepfather, Woody Allen — of abusing her as a child. Newsweek magazine follows in February, reviving the allegations from the one-time "Jane Does," publishing interviews in February with Green and Bowman.
Comedian Hannibal Buress makes "you rape women, Bill Cosby" a laugh line in his standup routine. Cosby's planned return to television begins to implode.
Bowman then writes in The Washington Post that "Cosby had drugged and raped me, too." Her Nov. 13 essay questions why it took a male comedian's comments to create the public outcry.
Joan Tarshis comes forward on Nov. 16, alleging that Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1969, when she was 19. She says Cosby forced her to perform oral sex on him during one encounter, and then drugged and raped her in another. Cosby's lawyer issues a blanket denial of "decade-old, discredited allegations," stating that "the fact that they are being repeated does not make them true." The next day, Cosby's lawyer clarifies that his statement does not apply to Constand.
Dickinson then reappears, telling "Entertainment Tonight" on Nov. 18 that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982. She says Cosby gave her red wine and a pill in a Lake Tahoe, California, hotel room. Dickinson says she wrote about the alleged assault in a draft of her 2002 autobiography, "No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel," but that Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the claim.
Netflix indefinitely postpones the Nov. 27 premiere of a Cosby comedy special, "Bill Cosby 77." NBC then scraps a Cosby comedy series under development, and TV Land stops airing reruns of "The Cosby Show."
Castor — the prosecutor who decided not to bring charges in 2005 — reveals that Cosby had been evasive during his investigation. "I think when he said that he didn't do anything improper or illegal, I thought then he was lying and I still do," he tells The Associated Press. But Castor says there was not enough evidence to prove anything.
Therese Serignese, named in documents as a "Jane Doe," comes forward as Cosby's 7th named accuser, alleging that he drugged and assaulted her in 1976 when she was 19. The same day, Nov. 20, the AP releases video from a Nov. 6 interview with Cosby and his wife, Camille, when they were being asked about their decision to loan paintings and other artworks to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. When asked about the sex allegations resurfacing, Cosby refuses to discuss them. Later, with a microphone still attached and the camera rolling, he questions the news organization's integrity for raising the issue and says, "I would appreciate if it was scuttled."
Ariana Grande And Big Sean Kissing In New Photo
Ariana Grande and Big Sean are not afraid to show a little PDA. In a new picture posted by Sean on Saturday, the couple is seen kissing. “Me n my Ari,” he wrote. See the photo at right and a larger version of it below.
What A Drunk Uncle Movie Would Look Like, According To Bobby Moynihan
Marvel and DC may have the movie market cornered on interconnected franchises, but after Bobby Moynihan’s recent interview with TimeOut New York, they might have new competition: The “Weekend Update” cinematic universe.
'Ouija' Parody Is So Perfect It's Scary
He didn't do it for the Vine.
Social media star Nash Grier totally killed it in his recent parody of the horror flick "Ouija." Like the movie, the video focuses on a group friends holding a seance for their dead friend Debbie. In this version, the dead girl was Grier's girlfriend, but when she starts sending messages to the other members of the group instead of him, you find out that Debbie has a few more secrets besides playing with a Ouija board.
The 16-year-old Grier is mostly know for his Vine videos, but with this latest parody trending on Twitter almost immediately after its release, he may soon be taking over YouTube, too.
Ian Somerhalder Is Handing Out Human Hearts For A Good Cause
Trying to save the world isn't something new for Ian Somerhalder, but he's really grabbed our attention with his latest, very bloody Instagram post.
Robert Pattinson & FKA Twigs Spend Time At Chateau Marmont
Robert Pattinson and his girlfriend FKA twigs try to go unnoticed while heading to a chauffeured car at celeb hotspot Chateau Marmont on Friday (November 21) in West Hollywood, Calif.
Kris Jenner Says Boyfriend Is Not A Stalker
Kris Jenner doesn't care her new boyfriend's ex claims he's a stalker ... because the BF has convinced Kris she's crazy.
Everyone's Going To See 'Mockingjay,' According To The Box Office
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" looks like it just had the best opening day of the year.
Jimmy Fallon Thanks Turkeys For Being Really Well Fed
In Jimmy Fallon's latest "Thank You Notes" segment on "The Tonight Show," the host channeled the true spirit of Thanksgiving and gave a special shoutout to all the turkeys out there.
"Thank you, turkeys, for being really well fed all this week," Fallon said, "and probably thinking, 'Man, November is the best!'" The poor turkeys have no idea what's coming, but at least they get to spend their final days eating, right?
Other thank you notes included Fallon thanking the new "Star Wars VII" trailer for debuting before the upcoming final "Hobbit" film, the Snapchat logo and the woman marrying Charles Manson. "Thank you for making Charles Manson look like the non-crazy one in the relationship." Perfectly said, Fallon.
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
Bill Maher Surprisingly Reveals A Plan To Save Christmas
From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Buddy the Elf, Christmas has had a lot of unlikely heroes over the years, but this may be the most shocking of all.
On the last "Real Time with Bill Maher" episode of 2014, the host dedicated some time to outline his three-point plan for saving Christmas. The comedian is pretty outspoken in his disapproval of religion, as outlined in his 2008 movie "Religulous," so he admitted himself that he's a surprising choice to come to Christmas' aid.
The comedian explained that it's not about the religious aspect of the holiday, though. Maher said, "It's about family, memories and the looks on the carolers' faces when I set the dogs on them."
Watch the full clip above, which has some NSFW language.
"Real Time with Bill Maher" returns Friday, January 9, 2015.
Hitler Watercolor Sells For $162,000 At Auction
BERLIN (AP) — A watercolor of Munich's old city hall painted by Adolf Hitler a century ago has been sold for 130,000 euros ($162,000) at an auction in Germany.
Kathrin Weidler, director of the Weider auction house in Nuremberg, said the work attracted bidders from four continents and went to a buyer from the Middle East. She declined to elaborate.
The painting, which had been expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros, was sold by a pair of elderly sisters whose grandfather purchased it in 1916.
Hitler's paintings surface regularly, but the auction house said the 28 by 22 centimeter (11 by 8.5 inch) scene auctioned Saturday also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from the Hitler's adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of the Nazi dictator's private secretary Martin Bormann.
Bill Cosby Says He Won't Answer To 'Innuendos'
Before Bill Cosby took the stage at a sold-out theater in Melbourne, Florida on Friday night, he broke his silence on the recent sexual assault allegations.
While speaking with Florida Today, the 77-year-old comedian addressed the claims and revealed his reason for silence. "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos," Cosby told the publication. "People should fact check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos."
In addition to the Florida Today interview, Cosby's lawyer, Marty Singer, released a statement to ABC News on Friday about his client:
"This situation is an unprecedented example of the media’s breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards. Over and over again, we have refuted these new unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork. When will it end?"
Cosby has previously refused to answer questions regarding allegations that he sexually assaulted several women. In an interview with NPR's Scott Simon broadcast on Nov. 15, Cosby shook his head and remained silent when asked to respond to the claims. Cosby also refused to respond to the AP's Brett Zongker regarding the allegations, saying, "No, no, we don't answer that." He later requested, still on the record, that the AP interview be "scuttled."
For more from Cosby, head to Florida Today. Singer's full statement is available at ABC.