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Sentencing Begins In Bill Cosby Trial

Lilli Bernard, in front, is shown outside Montgomery County Court House as Bill Cosby appears before Judge Steven O’Neil, in Norristown, PA, on September 24, 2018, after a jury found the 81-year-old entertainer guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in an April 2018 retrial. | Source: NurPhoto / Getty

Bill Cosby is speaking out after yet another accuser came forward this week and filed a lawsuit against the disgraced comedian claiming he drugged and raped her on multiple occasions decades ago in New Jersey.

Lilli Bernard’s civil suit seeks $225 million in damages for Cosby allegedly giving her similar treatment in an Atlantic City hotel in 1990 that dozens of other women accused him of doing to them leading up to his conviction for aggravated indecent assault that was overturned earlier this year.

Insider reportedly saw a copy of Bernard’s lawsuit which claims the then-aspiring actress was on the set of “The Cosby Show” when Cosby “offered to be a mentor” to her. They began working together with Cosby as her acting coach, but by the summer of 1990, Bernard had been sexually assaulted by him, according to the lawsuit.

Bernard’s lawsuit says Cosby, now 84 years old, touched her “rib cage and diaphragm without her permission” and “grabbed and squeezed” her breasts. When Bernard called him out, Cosby allegedly “feigned innocence and acted insulted,” the lawsuit says.

In another alleged instance, Bernard’s lawsuit says she and Cosby met a month later in Atlantic City under the premise that he would introduce her to people who could further her career. But when they returned to Cosby’s room following the dinner meeting, he fixed her a “supposedly non-alcoholic beverage” that ultimately made her “feel symptoms of dizziness, an urge to vomit, and weakness,” the lawsuit says.

That’s when Cosby allegedly told her, “Daddy’s going to get you something to feel better,” before she woke up later with him “naked atop her, vaginally raping her with his penis,” according to the lawsuit, which also claimed the same thing happened to her on multiple “additional occasions.”

The lawsuit also claims Cosby threatened to “erase” Bernard from show business if she tried to tell law enforcement what happened.

In response, a statement was released via Cosby’s Instagram slamming the judicial process that allows such an “unconstitutional” lawsuit to move forward.

Referring to lawsuits like Bernard’s as “look back provisions,” the statement called it “just another attempt to abuse the legal process by opening up the flood gates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations.”

The statement concluded: “Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him and is willing and able to take this fight to the highest court in these United States of America.”

Bernard’s previous allegations against Cosby in 2015 were not criminally investigated because a prosecutor said the statute of limitations had expired. However, Bernard’s lawyer told Insider that there is no such statute for civil lawsuits in New Jersey, so their claims should stand.

On June 30 of this year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s aggravated indecent assault conviction for drugging and molesting a single woman, Andrea Constandt, at his estate in 2004. The Keystone State’s highest court overturned Cosby’s conviction after finding that a deal with a previous prosecutor should have prevented him from being criminally charged in the case. The ruling bars any retrial in the case. Cosby was in the comfort of his suburban Philadelphia mansion in a matter of hours after news broke.

Cosby served more than two years of a three to 10-year sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix near Philadelphia. He opted to serve the maximum of the sentence as opposed to apologizing for the alleged 2004 sexual encounter with his accuser. Cosby was charged in 2015 and arrested just days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.

The disgraced comedian who was once beloved as “America’s Dad” faced dozens of allegations from women who claimed they were raped or sexually harassed by a man who once represented the epitome of Black achievement. Others who came forward also said they were drugged in a similar fashion to Bernard’s claims. The alleged encounters took place mainly in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas.

Bernard’s isn’t the only civil suit Cosby is facing.

Judy Huth has alleged that she was a victim of child sexual abuse when Bill Cosby molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15. The lawsuit claims that one week after meeting Cosby, he gave Huth and her teenage friend pills and alcohol while they played pool before taking them to the Playboy Mansion, telling them to lie about their ages and sexually assaulting them.

The lawsuit had been paused while Cosby was in prison but got the green light to move forward upon his release.

A statement posted to Cosby’s social media channels and attributed to his lead lawyer Jennifer Bonjean was very optimistic about Huth’s civil suit.

“With the reversal of Mr. Cosby’s conviction, his legal team, led by Jennifer Bonjean of the Bonjean Law Group, now turns its attention to the civil lawsuit brought by Gloria Allred on behalf of her client Judy Huth,” the statement said in part. “Since Mr. Cosby’s release from prison and the dismissal of all charges against him, Ms. Allred has been hard at work giving press statements about the alleged merits of her client’s 45-year-old allegations. Ms. Bonjean looks forward to fighting the case in the courthouse where it matters – rather than at press conferences on the courthouse stairs where it doesn’t.”


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