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Trigger warning: This article includes graphic details of sexual assault.
Despite Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction getting overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court back in June 2021, the disgraced comedian is now facing a new sexual abuse lawsuit in New York.
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Five women are accusing Cosby of groping, raping, and drugging them in separate instances dating as far back as 1969, and into the ’80s and ’90s. Rolling Stone reports that the lawsuit was filed by Lili Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson, and Cindra Ladd with all the women stating they were “sexually assaulted and battered” by the actor-producer.
The new complaint was filed under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act, which suspends the statute of limitations of sexual assault cases for one year. NBC Universal Media, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and the Carsey-Werner Company have also been named as co-defendants for failing to protect and intervene on the women’s behalf.
“This is an important step toward holding Bill Cosby and his enablers accountable for their actions and finding some measure of justice for the women they have harmed. We are thankful for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit and other similarly situated women for their bravery in facing their abusers,” said Jordan Rutsky, the plaintiffs’ attorney, in a statement.
Andrew Wyatt, a rep for Cosby, issued a separate statement:
“Unwilling to accept that Actor & Comedian Bill Cosby was vindicated by the PA State Supreme Court almost 1 year and 6 months ago a pack of 5 old alleged accusers have resurfaced to file a frivolous civil lawsuit against Mr. Cosby in the Supreme Court of the State of New York County New York,“ he expressed. “For the record, these alleged accusers were once represented by Ms. Allred and was apart of parade of accusers back in 2014 thru 2016. As we have always stated and now America see that this isn’t about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault but 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. Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegation waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”
Bernard, who is suing Cosby in both New York and New Jersey, claimed that during one alleged assault, “Bill Cosby covered her mouth with his hand and then smothered her entire face with a pillow until Ms. Bernard lost consciousness again.“ She also detailed multiple alleged attacks across various locations including on the set of The Cosby Show, A Different World, and at his home.
Ladd, who alleged she was raped by Cosby in 1969, stated “[he] vaginally raped her without her consent while she was blacked out, including his semen on and between her legs.”
Gittens claimed she was drugged in his Manhattan home in the late eighties, and that Cosby “reached under [her] skirt and anally penetrated her with his finger without her consent.”
Back in March, it was confirmed that the conviction overture will not be appealed. Cosby was, however, found guilty in June of sexually assaulting a minor in 1975. Cosby was ordered to pay $500,000 in damages with no jail time.