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The Bill Cosby's of the World

Bill Cosby was once my image of the perfect father. Watching him on the Cosby Show helped me create an ideal father figure in my mind. His patience with his children, the love he showed his wife, and the humor behind it all created a perfect person in my young mind. Bill Cosby was one of my idols, yet like all people placed on a pedestal he fell.

It is difficult to hear the stories told about a man I assigned perfection to. However, like all people, Bill Cosby is just a person - a mere mortal. Like everyone else, he presented a face to the world that was unlike his personal life. What happens behind some closed doors is unimaginable. It is difficult to reconcile the front presented to the world with the truth of the person behind the door.

There are many that would like to believe Bill Cosby is innocent and that the allegations are just made up. I am an advocate, I have lived through horrors, I know what people are truly capable of, yet a small part of me did not want to believe that the person I saw as the "perfect father" was capable of such harm to so many women. Where there is smoke there is fire, and many women have bravely come forward to present a united front. Not every single story may be true, but there is truth in numbers. To imagine that Bill Cosby is innocent would be to bury our heads in the sand and pretend. Pretending is often easier than facing reality, but healing can only occur with truth.

It is my hope that the women coming forward receive support and encouragement in their endeavors and that the truth will stand stronger than any fallacy created to try to protect an image.


It's heartbreaking to know that these women weren't believed for so many years. I know the feeling of not being believed, but their job isn't to convince anyone. They know what happened to them and they can create awareness about sexual assault and the realities of it.

Every father I saw in public was my image of the perfect father, to be honest. When I saw a father show so much affection towards his children that my father didn't show me was something I envied; however, the children could very well have experienced the same things at home as I did. No one knew about my abuse behind closed doors and, to be honest, I don't know that people want to necessarily believe it either. In my cries for help to others, no one helped me. As a matter of fact, they encouraged me to go back even though they knew that I wasn't happy.

It's done now. I can move on from it and receive support from the people that I need and want in my life (which is what I've chosen to do).

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.