Accuser sues Bill Cosby for alleged abuse dating to 1980s under expiring New York survivors law

A woman who worked as a stand-in at “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s is suing Bill Cosby, saying he drugged and sexually abused her

Carolyn Thompson
Wednesday 22 November 2023 01:26 GMT
Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits Cosby
Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits Cosby (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

A woman who worked as a stand-in at “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s said in a lawsuit Tuesday that Bill Cosby drugged and sexually abused her after offering to mentor her in her acting career.

It is the latest in a string of lawsuits filed against Cosby under New York’s expiring Adult Survivors Act, which has given victims of sexual abuse a one-year window for claims that would otherwise be barred by time limits. That window closes on Thanksgiving.

The anonymous accuser said that soon after meeting Cosby while working on his show, he started offering style tips and performing acting exercises with her in his dressing room. When he invited her to his home, she accepted, she said, in part because of “Cosby’s wholesome image as `America’s Dad,'" according to the lawsuit.

Once there, she said she blacked out during an acting exercise after drinking wine apparently laced with an intoxicant. She awoke “partially undressed and vomiting into a toilet,” according to the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in New York.

An unidentified actor on the show later expressed to her that Cosby “could do whatever he wanted to do with impunity at `The Cosby Show,'" according to the lawsuit, which seeks damages for battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

NBCUniversal, along with Kaufman Astoria Studios and The Carsey-Werner Company, are accused in the lawsuit of negligence related to Cosby's alleged behavior. Representatives of the companies did not immediately respond to emailed messages seeking comment Tuesday evening.

A spokesperson for Cosby, 86, declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but suggested that look-back windows in place in New York and elsewhere should be closed because they were being abused to go after wealthy celebrities.

"When will it stop and who will be the next man to be victimized by these look-back windows?" spokesperson Andrew Wyatt wrote in an email.

Cosby has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by more than 60 women, including several who have filed lawsuits over the past year under the Adult Survivors Act. He has denied all allegations involving sex crimes.

Cosby was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era and spent nearly three years at a state prison near Philadelphia before a higher court overturned the conviction and released him in 2021.

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