Bill Cosby sued by 5 women in new sexual assault allegations

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(NEW YORK) — Actor Bill Cosby is facing new accusations of sexual assault and battery from five women under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The lawsuit was filed in New York state court by actresses Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl, who each appeared on “The Cosby Show,” as well as Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd and accuses Cosby of assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment and accuses the media companies of negligence. The lawsuit also names NBC, the studio where “The Cosby Show” was taped and the show’s production company.

Cosby “used his power, fame, and prestige, including the power, fame and prestige given to him by defendants NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Inc., and The Carsey-Werner Company, LLC, to misuse his enormous power in such a nefarious, horrific way,” according to the lawsuit.

Cosby, in a statement from his representatives, denied the allegations, saying, “Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegation waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”

The Adult Survivors Act, which took effect on Thanksgiving, allows alleged adult victims of sexual assault to file lawsuits that would otherwise be time barred. Most of the allegations from the women took place in the late ’80s and early ’90s, while Ladd claims she was raped in “approximately 1969.”

The lawsuit by the five women include allegations similar to numerous other claims against Cosby, who was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, in 2004.

The conviction was overturned in June 2021 when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded Cosby’s prosecution should never have occurred due to a deal he cut with the Montgomery County prosecutor, who agreed not to criminally prosecute Cosby if he gave a deposition in a civil case brought against him by Constand.

According to the new lawsuit, Cosby drugged and raped Bernard, including once in August 1990 when he arranged a meeting under the false pretense that he wanted to help advance Bernard’s career.

“Bill Cosby drugged Ms. Bernard without her consent by placing an unknown intoxicant in a purportedly non-alcoholic drink that he had prepared and provided to Ms. Bernard. Once Ms. Bernard was incapacitated from the unknown intoxicant, Bill Cosby undressed and raped her without her consent,” the lawsuit said.

Eden Tirl, who had a bit part on “The Cosby Show” as a police officer, declined repeated invitations to Cosby’s dressing room before she was told to go, the lawsuit said.

“Suddenly, and without consent, Bill Cosby came behind her, pulled her arms down, wrapping them around the front of her chest and held them down so that Ms. Tirl could not move or escape his grasp,” the lawsuit said before describing a subsequent assault.

Cosby’s representatives said the women were “unwilling to accept” Cosby being “vindicated” by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“For the record, these alleged accusers were once represented by Ms. [Gloria] Allred and were a part of parade of accusers back in 2014 through 2016,” they wrote. “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. 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.”

ABC News’ Linsey Davis contributed to this report.

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