Five women are suing disgraced actor Bill Cosby for sexual harassment — including an incident in his dressing room on “The Cosby Show” — dating back decades when he tried to break into show business.
Alleged victims say Cosby, 85, pretended to be a mentor to them — but he instead drugged, groped, raped and sexually assaulted them until 1969, Monday night. According to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs are also suing three companies — NBC Universal Media, Kaufman Astoria Studios and Carsey-Werner — for failing to intervene and protect women.
They say the companies have in effect “endorsed and encouraged” the abuse by their alleged inaction.
The five women — Lily Bernard, Eden Thirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd — Cosby volunteered to mentor, but instead violated them when they were young and vulnerable. The four said the abuse took place in the late 80s and early 90s.
Bernard, who played Mrs. Minifield on “The Cosby Show,” said the former sitcom star drugged and raped her twice in 1990.
During the second alleged attack, she said she woke up while standing on top of Cosby and screamed “No” before suffocating him with a pillow, court documents said.
She also claims he forced her to perform oral sex in a separate incident at his Manhattan home, after which she said she planned to go to the police and the hospital.
“In response, Bill Cosby told Ms. Bernard that if she went to the police or the hospital, he would prosecute her for false accusations, make sure she went to jail for a long time, sue her for defamation. , “blacklist” him from the entertainment industry and “delete” him,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Bill Cosby then pushed Ms. Bernard down the stairs and out of her home.”
The TV star, once known as “America’s Dad,” loudly threatened to fire her during the filming of “The Cosby Show” in front of the production crew and other cast members and made “sexual abuse” toward her.
Bernard said Cosby’s abuse made him fear for his life and career.
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According to his co-accused Thirl, he was offered a small role as a police officer on The Cosby Show in 1989, and was invited several times to lunch in the star’s dressing room, and each time the employee, Frank Scotty “rebuffed her by grabbing her by the arm. At least four times, she was escorted by the arm and physically into the locker room in front of other employees.
Thirl Kaufman, who has been an outspoken accuser of Cosby in the past, told Astoria, Carsey-Werner and NBC staff that she felt uncomfortable and even cried tears of humiliation.
Three times Thirl managed to escape from the dressing room before Cosby arrived. The fourth time, Cosby entered the room, locked the door, and detained her, she said.
Cosby allegedly “touched her breasts with her consent, forced his penis on Ms. Thirl’s backside without her consent, and forcibly kissed her neck without her consent, and then whispered, “That’s all we wanted to do. Make love. This is making love.’
Plaintiff Gittens, who spoke with Cosby about starring on his show, said the suit alleges the actor drugged and assaulted her at his Manhattan home in the late 1980s.
According to her, he took drugs, reached up her skirt, fingered her anally and ejaculated.
Thompson, who was just 17 when she first met Cosby at a meeting arranged by a modeling agent, said that after she turned 18, he forced her to touch his penis and masturbate in his Manhattan home.
Ladd, the latest plaintiff, said she and Cosby became “platonic friends” in 1969. She said that during one of her movie appearances, he gave her an unknown pill to get rid of her headache.
She said that when she woke up, she was lying in a robe with Cosby nearby, “while Bill Cosby blacked out, sexually assaulted her without her consent, including his seed between her legs and between her legs.”
New York’s recently passed “Adult Statute” suspends the statute of limitations for a year, allowing adult victims of sexual assault to sue their abusers. Because of the law, women can now file a lawsuit.
“In transition [Adult Survivors Act]these five women can now come forward and seek justice for what was done to them,” said plaintiff’s attorney Jordan Merson.
Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women over the past few years, and has vehemently denied the allegations.
He was convicted in 2018 of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction and was released in June 2021.
Recently Santa Monica Civil Jury found him guilty In June 1975, he sexually assaulted a teenage girl.