Former Cosby Show actress and artist Lili Bernard filed a suit on Thursday against Bill Cosby, citing a 1990 hotel incident in which she claims Cosby drugged and raped her in Atlantic City, N.J., when she was 26 years old.
Per the AP, Bernard’s suit was spawned partially by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the comedic actor’s 2018 sexual assault conviction back in June. This decision was also made possible thanks to New Jersey’s two-year window to file sexual assault lawsuits that would otherwise be considered too old to pursue, which is set to end in November. According to Bernard, Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her in a hotel room after promising to be her mentor.
“When Bill Cosby was released, it retraumatized me, it terrified me. I was really horrified for any woman or girl that would come into contact with him,” Bernard told the AP. “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court let a predator back on the streets.”
Of course, not all people share the same sentiments as Bernard. Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt feels that laws like New Jersey’s “look-back” window “violate a person’s due process rights,’ but insists that The Cosby Show actor maintains his innocence and “would fight the allegations to the highest court in these United States.”
“This is just another attempt to abuse the legal process, by opening up the floodgates for people who never presented an ounce of evidence,” Wyatt explained.
In addition to Bernard’s suit, Cosby is also facing a civil suit filed by Judy Huth, who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by him at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15 years old. As previously reported by The Root, the case, which was originally filed in 2014 had been on hold for years. Cosby’s legal team is exercising his Fifth Amendment rights in order to keep from giving a deposition.