Disgraced comedian and actor Bill Cosby has once again been slapped with a lawsuit by five women who claim he sexually assaulted them. According to NBC News, the complaint was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday.
Besides Cosby, the other defendants named in the lawsuit include Kaufman Astoria Studios Inc., The Carsey-Werner Company, and NBCUniversal Media. The complaint states that the studios where The Cosby Show was filmed are now managed by Kaufman Astoria and produced by Carsey-Werner. Two of the female plaintiffs featured on The Cosby Show.
The women named as plaintiffs in the complaint are Lili Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson, and Cindra Ladd. The suit alleges that the defendants are “culpable and liable because they knew and/or should have known that Bill Cosby was sexually abusing, assaulting, and/or battering women, including on their premises, but did nothing to stop it.”
Bernard made an appearance in one of the episodes of The Cosby Show. She alleges that in August 1990, Cosby, 85, drugged and raped her after he facilitated her transportation from New York to New Jersey. She also claims that Cosby once again drugged and raped her in Nevada some months later.
Tirl was also given a minor role to play on The Cosby Show though she had zero experience in acting. She claims that in 1989, Cosby and his producers, on multiple occasions, insisted that she and the comedian have lunch together in his private dressing room. When she gave in, she claimed Cosby “touched her breasts and without her consent forcibly pressed his penis into” her back, the suit alleges.
Gittens alleges that she went to Cosby’s Manhattan home in “or around the late 1980s” after he invited her over. There, she said she was offered a glass of wine she claims was tainted. After she felt dull, she claims Cosby used his finger to sexually assault her and “ejaculated from the sexual encounter.”
Thompson, on the other hand, alleges that Cosby sexually assaulted her at his Manhattan home in the 1980s. The plaintiff, who said she was 18 at the time, claimed Cosby grabbed her “hand and forcefully placed it on his penis” and made her “masturbate him without her consent”, the suit states, per NBC News.
Ladd said Cosby was her “platonic” friend. She alleges that she was drugged by the previously convicted 85-year-old in “approximately 1969”. She claims he then went ahead to rape her after she passed out.
But in a statement, Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, labeled the lawsuit as “frivolous.” “We believe that the courts as well as the court of public opinion will follow the rules of law and relieve Mr. Cosby of these alleged accusations,” Wyatt said. “Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegations waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”
As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Cosby was sentenced in September 2018 to three to 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated assault for drugging and sexually assaulting former basketball player, Andrea Constand, in his home in 2004. However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June last year overturned his conviction, paving the way for his eventual release.
The actor had served more than two years of his sentence when the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that he had been denied a fair trial in 2018. The judges said there was a “process violation” because Cosby’s lawyers had made an agreement with a previous state prosecutor that he would not be charged in the case. However, in 2015, a prosecutor filed charges after testimony from a civil lawsuit brought by Constand against the actor was disclosed, BBC reported.