The sexual assault scandal surrounding embattled comedian Bill Cosby further widened on Friday, as two more women — including an actress who had appeared on “The Cosby Show” — came forward with new accusations against him.
In a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred in New York, Lili Bernard and Sammie Mays shared their allegations against Cosby. Lili, who appeared in an 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 Friday.
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.
Bernard claims to have become suicidal in the months following that encounter, and said that she still suffers panic attacks and night terrors “as a result of what Mr. Cosby did to me.”
During Friday’s conference, Sammie Mays said that she encountered Cosby in the mid-’80s, as a writer covering the NATPE convention in New Orleans. According to Mays, when she asked Cosby for a brief interview, she invited him to walk with her from the convention center across the street to his hotel.
Once in Cosby’s hotel suite, Mays says, Cosby mixed a drink for her with his back to her. After taking two big swigs, Mays claims, “The next thing I remember when I awoke, from my state of unconsciousness I seemed to have been drooling, and was sloppily slouched in the chair with barely the edge of my bottom in it.”
According to Mays, her shirt was unbuttoned and her bra was slid to the side, exposing her breasts, and her belt had been “unhooked and re-hooked, left loose around my hips.”
Cosby, 77, has been besieged in recent months by accusations of sexual assault leveled against him by dozens of women. A
Last week, three new accusers came forward to claim that they had been assaulted by Cosby, including a former model who claimed that she was “targeted and drugged by Bill Cosby” in 1975 at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago.
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.
The comedian is scheduled to perform at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on Saturday. During Friday’s conference, Allred said she planned to attend the scheduled protest of the concert.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.