Two actors who worked on The Cosby Show — Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl — are among the plaintiffs, reports ABC News. The other women listed are Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd.
The lawsuit charges Cosby with assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. The lawsuit also names NBC, the show’s production company and where The Cosby Show was filmed, as well as Universal Media and Kaufman Astoria Studios for their apparent failure to protect women.
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The five plaintiffs say Cosby, 85, took advantage decades ago because they were young and vulnerable.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, said four of the women were allegedly abused in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“Each applicant was sexually assaulted and beaten by defendant Bill Cosby in the same or similar manner when he used his power, fame and prestige, including the power, fame and prestige conferred upon him by (the) defendants…to abuse his enormous power in such a nefarious and horrific way,” the lawsuit states. .
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Bernard, who played Mrs. Minifield in The Cosby Showsaid Cosby drugged and raped her twice in 1990 and 1991.
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Tirl, who had a small role as a police officer on the 1989 series, alleges that Cosby touched her inappropriately without her consent while she was in a dressing room.
Two of the other women, Gittens and Ladd, claim they were drugged and raped by Cosby. Thompson alleges that Cosby inappropriately touched her without her consent when she was 18.
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Cosby denied the allegations through a statement from his reps.
“Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently denies all allegations against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.
Cosby has faced dozens of similar charges in recent years, with more than 50 women coming forward in 2014 and 2015 to say they were assaulted by the now-disgraced TV star.
His 2018 trial marked the #MeToo movement’s first major trial. He was convicted of the sexual assault of Andrea Constand at the time and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison. However, he was released in 2021 when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court quashed his convictionclaiming that his due process rights were violated.
Earlier this year, jurors in a civil trial found that Cosby sexually abused a 16 year old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975.
The Los Angeles County jury returned the verdict in favor of Judy Huth, who is now 64, and awarded her $500,000.
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