Bill Cosby can breathe a sigh of relief. At least for now.
The scandal-plagued comedian — who in recent months has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women — won’t face charges from allegations brought against him by former “The Cosby Show” actress Lili Bernard, a man identifying himself as Cosby’s New Jersey attorney said Wednesday.
“As of this writing, the office of the Atlantic County prosecutor has terminated its investigation, closed its file and so notified Ms. Bernard’s lawyer,” Edwin J. Jacobs, Jr. of the Jacobs & Barbone law practice said in a press release.
Added Jacobs, “There will be no charges filed.”
A spokesman for the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office had no comment for TheWrap on the matter.
According to Jacobs, “Whatever [Bernard] was claiming was far beyond the statute of limitations. That was my legal analysis and the analysis of the Atlantic County prosecutor.
Bernard, who appeared in one episode of the final season of “The Cosby Show,” claimed that she was drugged, raped and threatened by Cosby while he was mentoring her in preparation for her appearance as “the zany and very pregnant Mrs. Minifield.”
According to Bernard, Cosby was initially comforting and welcoming to her, complimenting her on her various skills.
“After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” Bernard said in a statement in May.
Bernard claimed that she last saw the comedian at the “Cosby Show” studios in 1992, where he told her, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead. Do you hear me? You’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist, I never wanna see your face again. Now get the hell out of here!”
“I interpreted that as a death threat and feared for my life,” Bernard said.
Cosby, 77, has been besieged in recent months by accusations of sexual assault leveled against him by dozens of women. A
The allegations have sparked multiple lawsuits, including a complaint filed by former “America’s Next Top Model” judge Janice Dickinson.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, has denied accusations made against the comedian in the past.
In the wake of the accusations, Cosby has suffered career setbacks, with Netflix postponing a comedy special that was to have aired late last year, and NBC shelving a comedy that it was developing as a possible starring vehicle for Cosby.
In response to the Atlantic County prosecutor’s decision, In response to the decision, Bernard’s attorney in the matter, Gloria Allred, said that the statute of limitations “can only protect Mr. Cosby so far.”
Read Allred’s full response below.
“Three little words- ‘statute of limitations.’ These words appear to be Mr. Cosby’s three favorite words in the English language. He and his lawyers throw them out whenever they can, while Mr. Cosby continues to thumb his nose at the many alleged victims who have accused him of violating their trust and their bodies.
I imagine that he says those words when he wakes up, many times throughout the day, and when he is ready to go to sleep at night. It would not surprise me if he prays to all that is holy to him that he should remain forever protected behind the wall that those words have created so that he never has to be held accountable in a court of law.
I suspect that he may imprint those words on his forehead and various other body parts in thankfulness for all that those words have done for him to protect him from facing his accusers, but those words can only protect Mr. Cosby so far. There will come a day when one or more of his numerous alleged victims will finally be able to break through the barriers and force Mr. Cosby to be accountable.
We currently have a case in California in which the Courts have held that Mr. Cosby does have to face his accuser, Judy Huth. In that case Mr. Cosby is asking the California Supreme Court to block that alleged victim from going forward, not on statute of limitations grounds, but because of alleged procedural irregularities in filing the complaint that were alleged by Mr. Cosby’s attorneys to have been committed by Ms. Huth’s former attorney. It seems that Mr. Cosby simply does not wish to have any of his accusers have their day in Court, but I have faith. I know that one or more of the women who claim that they were victimized by Mr. Cosby will ultimately have their day in Court.
I look forward to that day and to be able to look Mr. Cosby in the eye and tell him that justice has no time limit!”