The scandal surrounding Bill Cosby widened on Wednesday, as attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference with three women who claim that they were sexually assaulted by the besieged actor-comedian.
Allred was joined at the conference by the alleged victims — Beth Ferrier, who was the Jane Doe #5 in an earlier lawsuit filed against Cosby; a second victim identified as Helen Hayes; and a third, identified only as Chelan — who detailed the alleged abuse that Cosby subjected them to.
During the conference, held at Allred’s law office in Los Angeles, the attorney also offered two proposals for the former “Cosby Show” star: Either waive the statute of limitations and give the alleged victims their day in court, or place $100 million in a fund, and allow a panel of arbiters to determine if the alleged victims were entitled to any of the money.
“Bill Cosby could agree to waive the statute. Then Bill and the accusers would have opportunity to go before a judge and jury and everybody wins,” Allred said during the conference.
“If Mr. Cosby doesn’t want to waive the statute of limitations because he is not willing to subject himself to scrutiny in a court of law, he should agree to place $100 million into a fund and anyone who claims she was a victim could appear before a panel of retired judges who serve as arbitrators, who would determine compensation if the claim is found to have merit,” Allred added.
In a statement, Ferrier claimed that she engaged in an extramarital affair with Cosby when she was a model in the mid ’80s. After breaking things off, she claimed, she attended a club appearance by Cosby, who served her a cappuccino backstage.
“After I drank it, I felt dizzy and lost consciousness,” Ferrier’s statement read. “The next thing I knew, hours had passed, and I woke up in the back of my car alone. My clothes were a mess; my bra was undone.”
Hayes, meanwhile, claimed that she encountered Cosby in the summer of 1973 while attending a tennis tournament in Pebble Beach, California. She said that Cosby followed her party around all day, “even though we had changed restaurants several times to avoid him.”
Eventually, Hayes claimed, Cosby “approached me from behind and reached over my shoulder and grabbed my right breast.”
Hayes added, “His behavior was like that of a predator.”
Chelan, who was teary through most of the conference, told reporters that she encountered Cosby in 1986 when, as a 17-year-old aspiring model and employee at the Las Vegas Hilton, Cosby invited her to one of his Vegas shows after her father’s wife sent a letter and some pictures to Cosby. Cosby told her to meet him at the Elvis Presley suite, and that he would introduce her to someone from the Ford modeling agency, Chelan claimed.
She added that she had a cold at the time, and that Cosby gave her what he said was an antihistamine, along with a double shot of Amaretto.
“He was rubbing my neck and saying that he might have to have someone come in to give me stress therapy. He had me put on a Hilton robe because someone from the Ford agency was coming up to the suite and that I should wet my hair so that they could see the texture of my hair,” she added.
Someone did arrive at the room, she said, and left after taking a couple of pictures and telling her to lose 10 pounds,” Chelan claimed.
In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have come forward to level accusations at Cosby. In wake of the allegations, NBC decided not to go forward with a comedy in development that Cosby would have starred in, while Netflix postponed a comedy special featuring Cosby. The comedian also resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University.
In the wake of the mounting accusations against the 77-year-old comedian, his attorney Martin Singer released a statement saying: “The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.
“These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years,” Singer claimed.
On Wednesday morning, Cosby marginally broke his silence with tweets of gratitude to both Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott, thanking them for their support.