Lili Bernard Sues Bill Cosby for $125 Million on Rape Counts

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Bill Cosby speaks to reporters outside of his home on June 30, 2021 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Bill Cosby was released from prison after court overturns his sex assault conviction.

An accuser who says Bill Cosby drugged and sexually abused her during a purported mentorship that began on the set of his popular television show has filed a $125 million civil suit in federal court.

Documents obtained by Law&Crime say Lili Bernard, whose name has long been publicly associated with accusations against Cosby, is seeking significant punitive damages against Cosby on claims of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment.

Bernard says in court documents that she first met Cosby on the set of “The Cosby Show” and that he offered to mentor her as an actor starting around July 1990.  Cosby promised the plaintiff he would “feature her in a principal speaking role” on the program — but his training involving “theatrical exercises” also came with “detailed questions about her life” and comments about what the lawsuit calls the “sexual pressures of Hollywood.”

From the lawsuit at length:

During one of the mentoring sessions toward the end of July 1990, while Mr. Cosby was guiding Ms. Bernard through a theatrical exercise in vocal projection, Mr. Cosby grabbed Ms. Bernard’s ribcage and diaphragm without her permission under the guise that he was teaching her how to breathe, and then suddenly, violently, and without permission grabbed and squeezed Ms. Bernards’s breasts.

When Ms. Bernard confronted Mr. Cosby about his inappropriate and unpermitted sexual contact, he feigned innocence and acted insulted.  Ms. Bernard did not know what to think about what transpired.

The next month, Cosby set up an alleged meeting at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City under the guise that he would introduce Bernard to a “produce who would advance” her career.  However, the interstate trip was merely for the “purpose of drugging and then sexually abusing” the plaintiff, the lawsuit alleges.

Once at the suite, Mr. Cosby prepared a supposedly non-alcoholic beverage for Ms. Bernard to drink, since she did not drink alcoholic beverages.

After drinking the beverage, Ms. Bernard began to feel symptoms of dizziness, an urge to vomit, and weakness.

Mr. Cosby helped Ms. Bernard to the restroom where he said, “Daddy’s going to get you something to feel better,” before leaving the room.  She thereafter vomited and lost consciousness.

When Ms. Bernard awoke, Mr. Cosby was undressing her and she remained dizzy, unable to stand, and unable to move her body.

When Ms. Bernard said, “No,” in response to Mr. Cosby’s efforts to undress her, Mr. Cosby ignored her and continued to undress her.  She lost consciousness again.

Ms. Bernard awoke again to find Mr. Cosby naked atop her, vaginally raping her with his penis.  Ms. Bernard lost consciousness again.

When Ms. Bernard awoke again, she found herself naked and alone in an empty bathtub or jacuzzi in the bathroom, still dizzy and unable to move.  She went in and out of consciousness until fully losing consciousness again.

When Ms. Bernard next awoke, it was the morning and she was naked in bed.

Upon her awakening, Mr. Cosby dragged Ms. Bernard to a sitting position, dressed her quickly, handed Ms. Bernard money, and walked her to a waiting car with the assistance of a bellman.

The lawsuit alleges that Cosby “sexually assaulted, battered, and drugged Ms. Bernard on additional occasions” as well.  It was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

This is a developing story . . . 

[Photo by Michael Abbott/Getty Images]

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