Bill Cosby drugged and raped aspiring actress inside Atlantic City hotel decades ago, new lawsuit charges

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  • Bill Cosby
    Bill Cosby
    American comedian

Bill Cosby drugged and raped a young actress in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, hotel after promising to help boost her career — and even asked her to call him “Daddy,” a federal lawsuit charged Thursday.

The sexual assault inside the Trump Taj Majal occurred in August 1990, after Cosby offered to mentor Lili Bernard as she tried to improve her show business prospects, the 14-page New Jersey Federal Court filing alleged.

The court papers offered a terrifying account similar to those filed by dozens of Cosby accusers, with Bernard alleging she was drugged and then sexually assaulted.

“Miss Bernard awoke ... to find Mr. Cosby naked atop her ... raping her,” the victim alleged. “Ms. Bernard lost consciousness. When she awoke again, she found herself naked and alone in an empty bathtub.”

Cosby had volunteered to assist Bernard, who appeared on his top-rated program “The Cosby Show,” and told the woman that he considered her like a daughter, the court filing recounted.

“He emphasized to Ms. Bernard that chastity was a virtue, warned her of the sexual pressures of Hollywood, and offered to Ms. Bernard that she may call him ‘Daddy,’” the court papers said.

Cosby told Bernard to meet him and a producer at the Jersey Shore resort city to “advance her career,” the lawsuit alleged. But the only advances came from a predatory Cosby, who allegedly slipped something into a nonalcoholic drink that he gave to the teetotaler inside the dining room of his seaside suite, court papers said.

“She thereafter lost consciousness,” the court papers alleged. “When Ms. Bernard awoke, Mr. Cosby was undressing her and she remained dizzy, unable to stand and unable to move her body.”

The actress, who had previously accused Cosby of attacking her, seeks $25 million in damages from Cosby for her allegations of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and punitive damages.

She is one of at least 60 women accusing Cosby, once the star of the nation’s top-ranked television show and a revered comedian, of sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s.

The 84-year-old Cosby, through spokesman Andrew Wyatt, issued a response denying the allegations.

“This is just another attempt to abuse the legal process by opening up the floodgates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations,” the statement read.

“Mr. Cosby continues to maintain steadfast in his innocence and will vigorously fight ANY alleged allegations waged against him.”

This past June, Cosby’s 3-year-old aggravated indecent assault conviction was tossed by Pennsylvania’s highest court as the man once known as “America’s Dad” walked out of prison a free man. He was serving a 10-year sentence on his conviction.

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