One of Bill Cosby‘s accusers has filed a $125 million civil suit against him for allegedly drugging and raping her in Atlantic City in 1990.
Lili Bernard, 57, one of the sixty women who have accused Cosby, 84, of sexual assault, filed the suit in New Jersey‘s civil court after a Pennsylvania court threw out Cosby’s sexual assault conviction in June on a technicality.
For years, Bernard claimed that that Cosby coerced her to move to New York so he could mentor her and get her a role on The Cosby Show, where he got close to her before allegedly raping her in Atlantic City.
‘I have waited a long time to be able to pursue my case in court and I look forward to being heard and to hold Cosby accountable for what he did to me. Although it occurred long ago, I still live with the fear, pain and shame every day of my life,’ Bernard said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.
Lili Bernard, left, has filed a $125 million civil suit against Bill Cosby for allegedly drugging and raping the actress in Atlantic City in August 1990
Bernard acted alongside Cosby during the final season of The Cosby Show
The lawsuit claims that Cosby arranged for Bernard, who was 26 at the time, to travel Atlantic City in August 1990 to meet a producer who could help advance her career, NBC 10 reports.
At the time, Bernard played Mrs. Minifield on final season of The Cosby Show and was looking to break out.
Once in Atlantic City, Cosby allegedly greeted Bernard at a hotel with a drink, which caused her to feel dizzy and nauseous before passing out.
The suit says Bernard awoke and fainted multiple times and found Cosby undressing her and then raping her.
Bernard said she awoke the next morning naked, at which point Cosby got her dressed and taken out of the hotel and back to New York.
Bernard played Mrs. Minifield. She claimed Cosby took her in as a mentor
Group: Here, Bernard is seen (second from the left) in a group photograph with Bill Cosby (second from right). They last saw each other in 1992
Cosby had originally been convicted of sexual assault in 2018 for the rape of a Pennsylvania woman. The state’s high court overturned the ruling on June 30, 2021
She recalled last seeing Cosby in 1992, when he allegedly told her ‘you’re dead, Bernard. You don’t exist.
She said she interpreted his words as a death threat, The Wrap reported.
Following the alleged assault, Bernard said she became suicidal, sought help, and was hospitalized, according to The Wrap.
She said she still suffers panic attacks and night terrors as a result of the alleged attack.
In a statement, Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, said Cosby was innocent and that Bernard has always lacked proof of her claims.
‘This is just another attempt to abuse the legal process, by opening up the flood gates for people, who never presented an ounce of evidence, proof, truth and/or facts, in order to substantiate their alleged allegations,’ Wyatt said.
‘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.’
Wyatt added that New Jersey prosecutors had closed Bernard’s rape allegations in 2015 without charging Cosby as it exceeded the statute of limitations on rape at the time.
Bernard’s newest suit was filed during the state’s two-year window for victims to file older sexual assault claims.
Wyatt called New Jersey’s ‘look-back’ window a violation of a person’s due process rights.
Bernard, left, continues to be an outspoken critic of Cosby. She attended his 2018 trial when he was originally sentenced to three-to-10 years in prison
Bernard, right, dressed as Lady Justice during a protest against the overturning of Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction
Cosby was freed from prison after the court overturned his conviction in June
Bernard has remained an outspoken critic of Cosby after she testified against him in court in 2017 amid a slew of sexual assault allegations levied against the TV star during the early years of the #MeToo era.
She, along with fellow accusers Stacey Pinkerton and Victoria Valentino, held a protest against Cosby when his 2018 sexual assault conviction was overturned on June 30.
Cosby had served about two of the three-to-10 year sentence after being found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 2004.
The state Supreme Court said the case should not have gone to trial because Cosby believed he had a binding promise from an earlier prosecutor that he would never be charged.
Four Pennsylvania high court judges ruled in Cosby’s favor, and three other dissented, ABC 6 reports.
Cosby settled a civil lawsuit with Constand for $3.4 million.
‘When Bill Cosby was released, it retraumatized me, it terrified me. I was really horrified for any woman or girl that would come into contact with him,’ Bernard told the Associated Press. ‘The Pennsylvania Supreme Court let a predator back on the streets.’