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Bill Cosby accused of rape in new sexual assault lawsuit, months after being released from prison

Bill Cosby accused of rape in new sexual assault lawsuit, months after being released from prison
A new sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against comedian Bill Cosby following his release from prison this year, after his conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault was overturned.

Actress Lili Bernard, one of dozens of women to have accused Cosby of sexual assault, filed a lawsuit against the disgraced comedian and television star on Thursday, approximately three months after he was released from prison. 

Bernard, 57, alleges in her suit that Cosby drugged and raped her in an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel in 1990 when she was 26. She claims to have met Cosby on the set of ‘The Cosby Show’ and he offered to be an acting mentor to her, even warning her about the “sexual pressures of Hollywood.”

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Cosby “violently and without permission” grabbed her on one occasion in July of 1990, she alleges in the suit, and then drugged and raped her the following month during a trip he said was intended for her to meet with a producer to advance her career. Benard is seeking $125 million in damages. 

Cosby was previously sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in the fall of 2018. In June of this year, however, the 84-year-old’s conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, citing a previous prosecutorial agreement that had been ignored.

Revelations about Cosby were especially scandalous for the public, as the comedian had once widely been referred to as ‘America’s Dad’, building his brand of humor on family-friendly comedy. Since then, rumors have swirled that Cosby could be attempting to put the host of controversies behind him and return to the road as a stand-up comedian. 

Bernard told the Associated Press that Cosby’s release “retraumatized” and “terrified” her.  “I was really horrified for any woman or girl that would come into contact with him,” she said, adding that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court “let a predator back on the streets.”

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Cosby has continually denied all allegations of wrongdoing against him and maintained his innocence while facing conviction, despite the growing number of women publicly accusing him. He has similarly waved off the new lawsuit through a spokesperson, calling it “another attempt to abuse the legal process.”

“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him and is willing and able to take this fight to the highest court in these United States of America,” Cosby spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said. 

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