Five women are suing dishonored actor Bill Cosby for acts of sexual abuse — including an apparent incident in his “The Cosby Show” dressing room — which happened as they attempted to break into show business several decades ago.
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 in Manhattan Supreme Court.
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.
With the passage of the "Adult Survivors Act", these five women can now come forward and pursue justice for what was done to them,” the plaintiff’s lawyer Jordan Merson said.
Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of sexual assault over the past several years and has denied the charges.
The five plaintiffs are also suing three companies — NBC Universal Media, Kaufman Astoria Studios, and the Carsey-Werner Company — for their alleged failures to intervene and safeguard the women.
They said the companies, in effect, “condoned and enabled” the abuse by their alleged inaction.
The women are able to bring the lawsuit forward now due to New York’s recently enacted Adult Survivors Act, which suspends the statute of limitations for one year, allowing adult victims of sexual assault to bring their abusers to court.
Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in jail. He appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction, leading to his release in June 2021.
Most recently, a Santa Monica civil trial jury found him guilty in June of sexually abusing a teen girl in 1975.
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