Nine women accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault Wednesday in a Nevada lawsuit, less than two months after the state changed the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving that crime.
The women claimed in the lawsuit that the assaults occurred in Nevada between 1979 and 1992, some in Mr. Cosby’s hotel suite in Las Vegas. They said Mr Cosby, now 85, had drugged or attempted to drug each of them prior to the attacks.
A spokesman for Mr. Cosby, Andrew Wyatt, was not immediately reachable for comment Wednesday evening. He he told NBC News that the plaintiffs in the case were motivated by « addiction to massive amounts of media attention and greed. »
The lawsuit is the latest of many to accuse the entertainer of being a sexual predator. He was convicted of sexual assault in a Pennsylvania court in 2018 and began serving a three- to 10-year sentence.
Mr. Cosby was released in 2021 after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction on the grounds that prosecutors had violated his rights by reneging on promises not to charge him. Mr. Wyatt described the court’s overturn at the time as a victory for both black America and women.
But allegations of sexual misconduct continued to follow Mr. Cosby, who starred for years on ‘The Cosby Show’, a mainstay of American television in the 1980s and early 1990s. And now he faces several new lawsuits in states where statute of limitations laws have recently changed.
In California last year, a jury sided with Judy Huth, who accused Mr. Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1975 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 16 years old. She was awarded $500,000.
Mr. Cosby was also sued in Los Angeles this month by Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy model who accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting her in that city in 1969, after she and a friend met him for a meal in a restaurant.
The California cases were possible because state law was changed in 2020 to extend, then temporarily lift, the statute of limitations on sexual assault claims in civil courts.
A similar trial in New Jersey allowed actor and visual artist Lili Bernard to sue Mr. Cosby in 2021, accusing him of drugging and sexually assaulting her in an Atlantic City hotel in 1990.
In Nevada, the state legislature passed a law in May which revised the provisions relating to some civil cases involving sexual assault. The law allows people aged 18 or older when an alleged sexual assault has occurred to file a civil suit. Previous state laws had already allowed people who were under 18 at the time of an alleged sexual assault to bring such cases.
Some of the nine women who filed the lawsuit Wednesday were involved in lawsuits against Mr. Cosby in other states.
One is Mrs. Bernard, a former guest star on ‘The Cosby Show’. Another is Janice Dickinson, a model who appeared as a witness in Mr. Cosby’s Pennsylvania trial, testifying that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982.
“Every state should follow Nevada’s lead and eliminate statutes of limitations for sexual assaults,” said Lisa Bloom, an attorney who represented Ms. Dickinson in the Pennsylvania case. « I applaud the courage of these women for calling for justice against Bill Cosby. »