In 2003, Bill Maher was in a relationship with model Coco Johnsen, and although it only lasted two years, after it ended Johnsen filed a lawsuit against Maher for $9 million. Johnsen stated that Maher promised to marry her and didn’t follow through. So of course it makes sense for Johnsen to speak about Maher’s use of the n-word, since she probably knows him quite well.
In an interview with TMZ, Johnsen insinuated that it’s nothing new for Maher to use the racial slur, and he probably didn’t think it was a big deal to use it on television.
“I just think that anyone who uses the n-word is insensitive. ... Just use another word the next time. I’m sure that he’s learned his lesson. Maybe a little sensitivity training at the NAACP could be of some use,” she said.
The reporter asked Johnsen if she’d heard him use the word, but she didn’t give a direct answer.
“I’ve heard the word many times,” Johnsen stated. She went on to say that it’s sad that someone so intelligent has to use the word.
Many people have called Maher racist, not only for using the word but also for his comments about Muslims, but Johnsen doesn’t seem to think he is.
“I don’t think he’s racist. But he probably did it for shock value,” she continued.