Bill Cosby hit with new sexual assault lawsuit

02 Jun 2023 12:53pm

Bill Cosby - File Pic by AFP
Bill Cosby - File Pic by AFP
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PHILADELPHIA - Bill Cosby is facing another sexual assault lawsuit filed by former Playboy model Victoria Valentino, who alleges that the comedian drugged and raped her in 1969, reported German news agency (dpa).

Valentino, 80, filed the case in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday in accordance with a new law that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on civil cases related to sexual assault. The law, which expires at the end of this year, allows people alleging they were assaulted as adults to file civil lawsuits no matter when they happened.

"The trauma he inflicted upon me affects not only me, but my children and grandchildren," Valentino said.

"By breaking my silence and speaking my truth, I hope this serves as my legacy to my family and shows those survivors who have yet to find their voices, that hope and healing are possible."

Cosby, 85, was previously convicted of sexually assaulting former Temple University basketball coach Andrea Constand in 2004 in a Montgomery County court in 2018. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison in that case, but was released after nearly three years when the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2021.

Valentino is suing Cosby for sexual assault and sexual battery. The suit is seeking unspecified general, special and punitive damages, as well as attorneys' fees and court costs. The suit also targets up to 20 unnamed defendants, including agents and other employees who she alleges enabled Cosby.

In her lawsuit, Valentino alleges that she first met Cosby at an audition in 1969. After meeting him, Valentino told the comedian of her 6-year-old son, who had recently died in a drowning.

Cosby and Valentino, the suit said, met again by chance at a Los Angeles cafe. Valentino was out to dinner with a friend, who is not named in the lawsuit, and was still mourning her son's death. Cosby, the suit said, conversed with Valentino's friend, while Valentino herself "continued to sob over the tragic loss of her only son".

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The comedian then allegedly offered to pay for a treatment at a nearby Finnish spa for Valentino and her friend, and a chauffeur later took the pair to a Los Angeles steakhouse for dinner. Cosby was there, and allegedly offered the women pills during the meal.

"Here! Take this! It will make you feel better. It will make us ALL feel better," Cosby said, according to the suit.

The lawsuit claims that Cosby deceived the women by pretending to take one of the pills himself, giving Valentino and her friend the impression "that the pill was safe to ingest". Valentino took a pill. Cosby later allegedly put another one in her mouth and her friend's mouth.

Valentino began to feel nauseated and "struggled to keep her head up and stay awake".

Cosby allegedly offered to drive the women home, but began driving them "in the opposite direction". They eventually arrived at an office, where Cosby offered to "show them his awards", according to the lawsuit.

After entering the office, Valentino and her friend passed out on a couch. Valentino awoke to see Cosby allegedly staring at her friend "with a predatory intensity".

She attempted to get his attention because, the lawsuit says, she "knew Cosby was about to assault her friend". Cosby allegedly became angry at Valentino's "efforts to thwart his assault" on the woman, and approached her instead.

Cosby then allegedly raped Valentino. After the assault, the suit said, Cosby told Valentino and her friend to "call a cab", and left.

At least 60 women have accused the entertainer of sexual assault, harassment or rape. Last year, Cosby was found liable in a civil case in Santa Monica, California, in which a jury found he sexually assaulted Judy Huth when she was a minor in the mid-70s. - BERNAMA

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