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One of Bill Cosby’s many accusers filed a civil lawsuit against the alleged serial rapist this week claiming that he drugged and raped her in 1990 in Atlantic City.
Lili Bernard, 57, filed the complaint in a New Jersey federal court on Thursday against the disgraced 84-year-old comedian and actor, CNN reports. She is seeking $125 million in damages for psychological, mental distress and physical trauma.
In the filing, Bernard claims that Cosby offered to be a mentor to her for her acting career in 1990 when she was in her mid-20s. The lawsuit states that Cosby warned her of "the sexual pressures of Hollywood” and vowed to protect her as if she were her own daughter.
However, she said Cosby then “violently” and “without permission” groped her after telling her that he would feature on his show if she “followed his directions."
Bernard alleges a month after meeting the “Cosby Show” star he drugged and raped her at Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal casino resort in Atlantic City. She noted that the trip to the city was described by Cosby as a visit to further her career. Instead, she says Cosby spiked a non-alcoholic drink which made her feel “dizziness, an urge to vomit and weakness,” the New York Post reports.
After she fell ill, Cosby allegedly told her “Daddy’s going to get you something to feel better” before she lost consciousness. She came to, only to see the comic undressing her, an action she said she told him to stop doing. She claims she was going in and out of consciousness and remembers Cosby allegedly raping her multiple times. She says she woke naked in the hotel bathtub.
Bernard alleges that the next day, Cosby threatened to “erase” her and sue her for defamation if she did anything about the incident.
In a statement obtained by CNN, Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt refuted the claims.
"This is 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," he said.
"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,” he added.
Wyatt also pointed to the fact that prosecutors in New Jersey declined to move ahead with Bernard’s claims in 2015 with any criminal charges because the allegations were "far beyond the statute of limitations."
Bernard has certainly not been alone in her allegations, which mirror the account of multiple other women. More than 50 women have claimed that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them over the course of decades. Most were unable to press criminal charges due to the statute of limitations passing.
Cosby was convicted in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting one accuser, Andrea Constand. While he was sentenced to three to 10 years for that incident, that was overturned in June after Pennsylvania’s highest court said his due process rights had been violated. He was previously denied parole after refusing to participate in sex offender programs behind bars. Cosby served about two years in prison.
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