A woman who claimed Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her as a young comedy writer over 50 years ago filed a lawsuit against the actor under a soon-to-expire New York law. This law gave victims of sexual abuse a one-year “window” for claims that would otherwise be barred by time limits.
Joan Tarshis initially came forward with allegations against Cosby in 2014, which were repeated in the new lawsuit. Tarshis said Cosby drugged her and forced her to perform oral sex on him in 1969 or 1970. She also claimed he drugged and raped her during another encounter a year or two later.
At the time of the first assault, Tarshis was living in California and had met Cosby through a mutual friend while he was starring in “The Bill Cosby Show,” according to the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in New York City.
A spokesperson for Cosby did not address the specifics of Tarshis‘s claims.
Cosby, 86, has faced accusations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment by over 60 women. He has denied all allegations involving sex crimes and was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era. However, a higher court overturned the conviction and released him in 2021.
Tarshis previously sued Cosby in Massachusetts, where Cosby had a home, and was among seven women who filed defamation claims after Cosby branded them liars. The cases were settled in 2019.
The new lawsuit alleges assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment, seeking unspecified damages.
In it, Tarshis said Cosby invited her to meet with him at the studio lot where he was filming his show under the pretense of working on a skit she was writing. Once in his bungalow, Tarshis said she fell unconscious after accepting a drink from Cosby and awoke to find him undressing her before forcing her to perform oral sex.
Ms. Tarshis returned to New York without telling anyone what happened, fearing for her life, and was contacted by Cosby in 1971. He called her home, spoke with her mother, and invited her to his show at Westbury Music Fair, the lawsuit said. Tarshis reluctantly agreed to meet him despite the fear of seeing Cosby again.
She claimed she lost consciousness in a limousine arranged by Cosby and awoke the next morning in a bed next to Cosby, who she said had undressed and raped her.
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