Bill Cosby accused of drugging and raping 5 women
Five women are suing actor Bill Cosby for acts of sexual abuse which happened decades ago as they attempted to break into show business.
The alleged victims said Cosby, 85, had posed as a mentor to them, but he instead drugged them, groped them, raped them and sexually abused them as far back as 1969, according to a lawsuit they filed Monday evening, Dec. 5, in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs are also suing three companies — NBC Universal Media, Kaufman Astoria Studios and the Carsey-Werner Company — for their apparent failures to intervene and protect the women.
They said the companies “condoned and encouraged” the abuse by their inaction.
The five women — Lili Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd — said Cosby volunteered to mentor them, but instead violated them when they were young and vulnerable. Four said the abuse occurred in the late 80s and early 90s.
Bernard, who played the role of Mrs. Minifield on “The Cosby Show,” said Cosby drugged and raped her on two occasions in 1990.
During the second alleged assault, she said she awoke while Cosby was on top of her and screamed “No,” before he smothered her with a pillow, court papers say.
He also forced her to perform oral sex on him in a separate incident at his Manhattan home, after which she said she planned to go to police and the hospital, the suit alleges.
“In response, Bill Cosby told Ms. Bernard that if she went to the police or the hospital, he would seek criminal charges against her for making a false accusation, make sure that she stays in prison for a long time, sue her for defamation, ‘blacklist’ her from the entertainment industry, and ‘erase’ her,” the suit claims.
“Bill Cosby then pushed Ms. Bernard down the stairs and out of his home.”
Cosby then allegedly threatened to fire her and yelled “sexual profanities” at her in front of production crew and other actors.
Bernard said Cosby’s alleged abuse made her fearful for her life and career.
Another plaintiff, Tirl, said she was offered a small part as a police officer on The Cosby Show in 1989 and was repeatedly invited to Cosby’s dressing room.