Bill Cosby is facing more legal turmoil for alleged sexual assault, more than a year after he was freed from prison in 2021.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state court, five women — including “Cosby Show” actors Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl — claimed they were “sexually abused or assaulted” by the former television star, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Bernard, Tirl and Cindra Ladd, who previously spoke out about Cosby’s alleged behavior, are suing the actor alongside additional plaintiffs Jewel Gittens and Jennifer Thompson under New York’s one-year window for adults to file sexual abuse complaints.
The suit (via the Hill) also claims NBC and television companies Kaufman Astoria Studios and Carsey-Werner Television are “culpable and liable” for Cosby’s alleged sexual assault. “The Cosby Show” was filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios, produced by Carsey-Werner; it aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992.
In a statement to The Times on Tuesday, Cosby’s representative, Andrew Wyatt, called the latest lawsuit “frivolous.”
Bill Cosby was released from prison after the Pennsylvania high court ruled the sex assault case against him violated an earlier deal with prosecutors.
“These alleged accusers were once represented by [Attorney Gloria Allred] and were a part of parade of accusers back in 2014 through 2016. As we have always stated, and now America can see, this isn’t about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault, it’s ALL ABOUT MONEY,” Wyatt said in an email statement.
“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. Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegation waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”
Representatives from NBC and Carsey-Werner did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Tuesday. Kaufman Astoria Studios could not be reached for comment.
Bill Cosby undid his crimson silk tie, removed the jacket of his navy pinstripe suit and rolled up his sleeves before being handcuffed and led slowly from the courtroom.
The 34-page lawsuit details multiple, separate instances of alleged rape and drugging by Cosby throughout the 1960s and into the ‘90s. Several of the defendants alleged that Cosby, 85, had placed an “intoxicant” in their beverages and raped them. The allegations were in line with those by women who had previously spoken out against Cosby.
The suit alleges that Cosby threatened to “blacklist” one of the plaintiffs if she resisted his forceful sexual advances or spoke out against his behavior. The women say NBC, Kaufman Astoria and Carsey-Werner “should have known that Bill Cosby was a danger to women” and that the companies “bestowed upon Bill Cosby power or the appearance of power… to access and sexually abuse women.”
After Bill Cosby was found liable of assaulting then-16-year-old Judy Huth in the 1970s, his spokesperson calls it a ‘victory’ but plans to appeal.
In September 2018, Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for sexual assault after multiple women, including Tamara Green and Victoria Valentino, came forward with their allegations of rape and drugging against the actor. Three years later, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s sexual assault conviction due to a “non-persecution” agreement the comedian made with the Montgomery County district attorney.
Earlier this year, Cosby was ordered to pay $500,000 for sexually abusing Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion when she was 16 years old in the ‘70s.