LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Three women who claim they were victimized by Bill Cosby spoke to the media Wednesday, two of whom were making their allegations public for the first time.
Attorney Gloria Allred told reporters at her Los Angeles office the women could still “obtain justice” despite statutes of limitations that would prevent criminal or civil cases from being filed.
Two of the women have never spoken about their experiences with Cosby, according to Allred. The third woman was prepared to testify against Cosby to support another woman’s 2005 lawsuit claiming sexual assault by Cosby in Pennsylvania. Cosby settled that lawsuit before it went to trial.
Allred challenged the 77-year-old Cosby to waive the statute of limitations and litigate the claims in the interest of “justice and accountability.”
“If Mr. Cosby believes that all of the women are being untruthful, then this is his opportunity to prove it,” she said.
She also alternatively proposed that Cosby could set up a $100 million fund as part of a settlement with the victims that would be determined by retired judges, KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports.
One of the women, Beth Ferrier, claimed she had an extramarital affair with Cosby in the mid-1980s. After breaking off the relationship, Ferrier alleges Cosby contacted her and invited her to watch him perform in Colorado. After allegedly meeting Cosby after the show, Ferrier said he gave her a cappuccino, and the next thing she remembers is waking up in her car, with her clothing in disarray.
“Mr. Cosby’s explanation for what happened was that I had had too much to drink. I did not believe him. I did not consume any alcohol that night,” Ferrier said. “I believe Mr. Cosby drugged me and sexually assaulted me that night.”
Another woman, Helen Hayes, said Cosby approached her from behind and grabbed her breast at a celebrity tennis tournament in California in 1973.
“I was stunned and angry because he had no right to do that, and I didn’t know why he would behave that way,” she said. “His behavior was like that of a predator.”
A third woman, identified as Chelan, said she met Cosby when she was 17 and working at the Las Vegas Hilton. She said Cosby called her to his room and said he would introduce her to a modeling agent.
According to Chelan, Cosby served her alcohol and rubbed her neck, which lead to what she claims was an uninvited sexual encounter.
“He laid next to me on the bed and began pinching my left nipple,” she said.
The press conference comes a day after a sexual battery lawsuit was filed by Judy Huth, a Southern California woman who claims the comedian molested her in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15 years old.
Huth’s lawsuit states she became aware of the psychological damage the incident recently. Under California law, adult victims who suffered childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits within three years of when they discover the abuse caused significant psychological trauma.
In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing them.
In response to the allegations, Cosby’s attorney Martin Singer issued a statement that read in part: “These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”
Cosby, 77, has steadfastly refused to answer questions about the sex abuse allegations. Singer has denied some of the accusations and said several of the women accusing Cosby have been discredited, but none of the claims have been tested in court.
Since the most recent allegations arose, NBC has scrapped a Cosby comedy that was under development, TV Land stopped airing reruns of “The Cosby Show,” and Netflix postponed a Cosby standup special. Numerous dates on Cosby’s tour have been canceled. One North Carolina school removed the entertainer from an advisory board; another stopped awarding an online scholarship in Cosby’s name.
Cosby also resigned from Temple University’s board of trustees on Monday, saying he “wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students.”
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