Actress Lili Bernard filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby on Thursday, alleging the comedian drugged and raped her on a trip to Atlantic City in August 1990. Bernard alleges in her lawsuit that she met the comedian on the set of “The Cosby Show”, adding that in July 1990 he offered to be a mentor for her acting career, CNN reported.
The lawsuit alleges that Cosby warned Bernard of “the sexual pressures of Hollywood” and told her that he would feature her in a principal speaking role on his show “if she worked hard and followed his directions.” Per the lawsuit, Cosby “violently, and without permission grabbed and squeezed” her breasts during an exercise in vocal projection.
The lawsuit further alleges that around August 1990, Cosby drugged and raped Bernard at the Trump Taj Mahal casino resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after persuading her to come along with him for a meeting with a producer who would help to progress her career.
The lawsuit, according to Law and Crime, states:
“When Ms. Bernard awoke, Mr. Cosby was undressing her and she remained dizzy, unable to stand, and unable to move her body.
“When Ms. Bernard said, “No,” in response to Mr. Cosby’s efforts to undress her, Mr. Cosby ignored her and continued to undress her. She lost consciousness again. Ms. Bernard awoke again to find Mr. Cosby naked atop her, vaginally raping her with his penis. Ms. Bernard lost consciousness again.
“When Ms. Bernard awoke again, she found herself naked and alone in an empty bathtub or jacuzzi in the bathroom, still dizzy and unable to move. She went in and out of consciousness until fully losing consciousness again. When Ms. Bernard next awoke, it was the morning and she was naked in bed.
“Upon her awakening, Mr. Cosby dragged Ms. Bernard to a sitting position, dressed her quickly, handed Ms. Bernard money, and walked her to a waiting car with the assistance of a bellman.”
Cuban-born Bernard is a visual artist, actress and writer who guest-starred in The Cosby Show as Mrs. Minifield in 1984. She is asking for a total of $225 million in damages.
Cosby’s attorney, Andrew Wyatt, released a statement on Thursday, saying: “This is just another attempt to abuse the legal process, by opening up the flood gates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations.”
“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him and is willing and able to take this fight to the highest court in these United States of America,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt continued that in July 2015, “the New Jersey Prosecutor terminated the investigation against Mr. Cosby and decided not to move forward with Lili Bernard claims,” adding that the allegations were “far beyond the statute of limitations.”
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 on June 30 overturned his conviction, paving the way for his eventual release.
The Cosby Show 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.