A woman has come forward to file a $25 million federal suit against comedian Bill Cosby claiming he drugged and sexually abused her during a purported mentorship that began on the The Cosby Show set.
Law&Crime reports they’ve obtained legal documents that show Lili Bernard, who first accused Cosby, 84, years ago and is now seeking significant punitive damages against him on claims of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, states that Cosby “sexually assaulted, battered, and drugged Ms. Bernard on additional occasions.”
Bernard claims in court documents that she first met Cosby on the set of “The Cosby Show” around July 1990 and that he offered to mentor her as an actor. Cosby promised the actress that he would give her a speaking role on the show, but she’d have to go through his training program. Bernard says part of the program included her providing answers to “detailed questions about her life.”
The lawsuit also claims that while doing breathing and vocal exercises, Cosby grabbed Bernard’s breasts. When she protested, Cosby “feigned innocence and acted insulted.”
A month later, Bernard alleges that Cosby set up what she thought was a meeting at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with an influential producer who could “advance” her career.
Bernard says she accepted a non-alcoholic beverage and then began to feel dizzy, weak and nauseous. She claims she lost consciousness but recalls protesting when Cosby began to undress her, telling him “No.” She claims that she awakened to Cosby raping her before losing consciousness again.
Cosby served more than two years of a three-to-10-year sentence at Philadelphia-area state prison. Previously, Cosby vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge remorse over the 2004 encounter with victim and accuser Andrea Constand.
The former comedian was convicted of drugging and molesting Constand at his suburban home. In late 2015, he was charged when a prosecutor presented newly unsealed evidence.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that testimony tainted the trial, even though a lower appeals court had found it appropriate to show a signature pattern of drugging and molesting women. He was released on June 30.
In response to these allegations, Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt released a statement on Cosby’s Instagram account, saying, “This is just another attempt to abuse the legal process by opening up the flood gates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations. Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him and is willing and able to take this fight to the highest court in these United States of America.” The statement is followed by the hashtags #BillCosby #ConstitutionalRights #DueProcess.
Nonetheless, Bernard steadfastly purports that she has suffered a number of emotional traumas including, “post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, emotional distress and physical sequelae thereof, nightmares, flashbacks, inability to sleep, severe physical pain and suffering, severe emotional pain and suffering, embarrassment, and multiple other permanent injuries.”