It’s been a rough week for Bill Maher. Now his ex-girlfriend, former Playboy Cyber Girl Coco Johnsen, is claiming that the embattled comedian and television host’s use of the “N-word” wasn’t just a one-time thing when he used it on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher last week. Instead, she claims that his use of the word was a regular occurrence back when they were dating.
On the Friday, June 2 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, the often-controversial host drew tremendous flak for a comment he dropped while interviewing Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) in his home state. According to Complex, the offending exchange came when Sasse remarked that he was inviting Maher to Nebraska to “work in the fields with us.” This prompted the following reply from Bill, which proved to be very uncomfortable for Real Time viewers.
“Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n***a.”
Complex added that Maher initially “seemed to delight in his audience’s discomfort,” before adding the words “it’s a joke.” The Inquisitr wrote on Sunday that Maher issued a more detailed, prepared apology for his use of the N-word, saying that he deeply regrets his faux pas on live TV, and that he didn’t mean to drop the word in the heat of the moment.
With celebrities and Real Time fans alike still upset with the uncalled-for use of the N-word, Bill Maher’s ex-girlfriend Coco Johnsen spoke to TMZ on Tuesday, as the publication was able to spot her at Burbank Airport and get her comment on the situation. The 51-year-old Johnsen, who is African-American, expressed her disappointment in her ex-boyfriend’s slip-up in a minute-and-a-half interview with a TMZ reporter.
“I just think that anyone that uses the N-word is very insensitive. (Maher should) use another word next time. (But) I’m sure that he’s learned his lesson.”
Johnsen would then joke that Maher may need “a little sensitivity training” at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
When asked by TMZ if using the N-word around a black woman was commonplace for Bill Maher, his ex-girlfriend Coco admitted that Bill did use the word quite a lot during the year-and-a-half they were together.
“I’ve heard the word many times. I don’t want to say exactly from where, but I’ve heard it many times, and I just think that anyone that uses that word … (should) use some other vocabulary.
If you’re an educated person, there are many other words in the vocabulary you can use other than that. It’s so condescending and just sad and disappointing that someone so intelligent could stoop to that level.”
Bill Maher’s ex-girlfriend was also asked about the context of the Real Time host’s alleged use of the N-word — did he use it when quoting African-American people like rapper/businessman Dr. Dre, for instance? Coco Johnsen refused to go into great detail, instead stressing that Bill should have used “different words” in lieu of the racial slur.
Johnsen concluded the interview by telling TMZ that Maher’s alleged frequent use of the N-word doesn’t necessarily suggest that he’s racist, but rather a case of him using the word like a comedian would when trying to incite shocking reactions from his audience.
TMZ added some background on Bill Maher and his ex-girlfriend Coco Johnsen’s relationship, which had Coco suing Bill for $9 million for allegedly failing to live up to his promise to marry her. Johnsen also alleged at that time that Maher was verbally abusive, using racial slurs to “degrade” her during their relationship. The case was ultimately dismissed due to a lack of evidence against Maher.
In the days that have followed the controversial “house n***a” remark on Real Time, Bill Maher’s ex-girlfriend has become the latest African-American personality to publicly take offense at the comments. Earlier this week, rapper/actor Ice Cube teased an upcoming interview with Maher, where he will be appearing on this week’s Real Time to promote the 25th anniversary edition of his album, Death Certificate, and reportedly call Bill out for how he had used the N-word on last week’s episode.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]