Three more women came forward on Wednesday to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, this time with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred in tow.
At a news conference in Los Angeles orchestrated by Allred, the women told what have become familiar stories about the legendary comedian and entertainer. Two said Cosby established a relationship with them, lured them to a private locale, drugged them and then sexually molested them. The third said Cosby, 77, pursued her aggressively and groped her at a restaurant bar.
Among the accusers was Beth Ferrier, who has been previously identified as a friendly witness in a 2005 civil lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania woman, Andrea Constand, against Cosby. Constand’s lawsuit, alleging sexual assault by Cosby, was settled before Ferrier and 12 other “Jane Does” could testify in Constand’s behalf.
In the news conference at Allred’s law office, Ferrier said she was an aspiring model and actress in the mid-1980s who had had a months-long affair with Cosby. A few weeks after she ended the relationship, Ferrier said, Cosby called her at her home in Denver and asked her to meet him after his stand-up show at a local club.
Cosby greeted her backstage and gave her a cappuccino, she said. She quickly felt dizzy and nauseous and then blacked out, Ferrier said. She alleged that she woke up several hours later, alone in her car, with her clothing and undergarments disheveled.
“I believe Mr. Cosby drugged me and sexually assaulted me that night,” Ferrier told the news conference.
Cosby and his representatives have steadfastly maintained his innocence in the face of nearly two dozen accusations of sexual assault between the mid-1960s and 2004. Most of the allegations have become public only in the past month, prompting broadcasters, club owners and colleges to sever ties with Cosby.
Allred, a self-described “feminist lawyer” and a well-known TV pundit on legal matters, proposed that Cosby waive the statute of limitations on the assault claims and face a trial, or put $100 million into a fund to compensate victims based on a review of each claim by retired judges.
“There are many people suffering out there,” said Allred, who said she has “lost count” of the number of women who have contacted her office to claim abuse by Cosby. “Many you’ve heard from in the past month and many more you may hear from in the future. . . . Let’s end the nightmare for everyone and start a process to begin the healing.”
One of the new accusers, identified only as Chelan, said she was a 17-year-old aspiring model when she met Cosby while she was working at the Las Vegas Hilton. He invited her to his room on the promise of meeting a representative of the Ford modeling agency, she said. While there, he gave her two shots of amaretto and a “blue pill” that she said immobilized her. She said she passed out as Cosby began sexually assaulting her on a bed.
When she came to many hours later, she recalled Cosby telling her, “Daddy says wake up!’”
The third woman, Helen Hayes, said Cosby groped her while she was attending Clint Eastwood’s celebrity tennis tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., in 1973. “He approached me from behind [at a restaurant] and reached over my shoulder and grabbed my right breast,” she said.
On Tuesday, a woman from Southern California, Judith Huth, filed a sexual battery lawsuit against Cosby, claiming that he molested her in 1974 in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 15 years old. Huth’s claim may not be subject to the same statute of limitations that make it impossible for other alleged victims to file suits. Under California law, adults who allege they suffered sexual abuse as children can file suit within three years of when they discover the abuse caused significant psychological trauma.