A former Playboy model who claims she and another woman were drugged and sexually assaulted by the comedian and actor Bill Cosby in 1969, launched a lawsuit against him on Thursday under the terms of a new California law that suspends the statute of limitations on allegations of sexual assault.
Per the legal filings reported by the Associated Press on Thursday, Victoria Valentino, 80, met Cosby, now 85, in 1969 when she was an aspiring actress and singer. She claims that Cosby subsequently approached her when he witnessed her crying at a Los Angeles cafe following the death of her 6-year-old son in a drowning incident, and invited her and a female friend to attend a spa treatment.
That evening, while the three were having dinner, the lawsuit claims that Cosby offered each a pill. “Here! Take this!,” the lawsuit quotes Cosby as saying. “It will make you feel better. It will make us ALL feel better.”
The lawsuit further claims that Valentino lost consciousness only to awake to witness Cosby sexually assaulting her friend, whose identity was not disclosed. It then details Cosby “engaged in forced sexual intercourse” with Valentino, who claims she was unable to react due to her being intoxicated by the drug he had administered.
Cosby, who at one point was one of the United States’ most beloved comedic performers, has been accused of sexual offenses by at least 60 women. He spent almost three years in prison following a 2018 conviction of aggravated indecent assault before being released when the conviction was thrown out by a higher court.
Cosby’s spokesperson said on Thursday of the allegation that it is without “any proof or facts” and that legal pursuit of claims against him are done to ensure that “no more Black Men in America accumulate the American Dream that was secured by Mr. Cosby.”
Valentino’s lawsuit follow similar complaints in 2022 by six accusers of Cosby in New York under a similar so-called “lookback” law which suspends the statute of limitations in instances of alleged sexual assault. The same legal route was taken by the journalist and author E. Jean Carroll this year in her successful claim that Donald Trump sexually abused her in the 1990s.
Earlier this year, a woman was awarded $500,000 in damages by a Los Angeles jury after she claimed she was sexually abused by Cosby when she was a teenager. Valentino’s lawsuit calls for a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages from Cosby.