Bill Cosby is facing new charges from five women who’ve long accused the comedian of sexual assaulting them earlier in their careers.
TMZ reports the women jointly filed a lawsuit on Monday in New York state court, accusing Cosby of assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, while also naming NBCUniversal as complicit to the 85-year-old’s actions.
The charges were filed under New York’s new Adult Survivors Act, which gives survivors of sexual abuse a one-year window to file complaints that would otherwise be prevented by the statute of limitations.
The five plaintiffs include actresses Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl, who each appeared on The Cosby Show, as well as Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson, and Cindra Ladd, the last of whom is a former Hollywood executive who previously accused Cosby of raping her in 1969.
“Each plaintiff was sexually assaulted and battered by defendant Bill Cosby in the same or similar manner when he used his power, fame, and prestige, including the power, fame and prestige given to him by [the] defendants … to misuse his enormous power in such a nefarious, horrific way,” the suit states.
Lawyer Jordan Rutsky, who represents all five women, said, “It was well-known that Bill Cosby would regularly take young women into his dressing room, and when you read the complaint, you’ll see there were instances where staff saw this happening and even encouraged the plaintiff to submit.”
The news comes a year and a half after Cosby was freed from prison. He served more than two years of a 3-to-10-year sentence following dozens of women accusing him of rape and sexual assault.
Cosby’s spokesman Andrew Wyatt has rejected the accusers’ claims, calling the lawsuit “frivolous.”
“As we have always stated, and now America can see, this isn’t about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault, it’s ALL ABOUT MONEY,” Wyatt stated. “We believe that the courts, as well as the court of public opinion, will follow the rules of law and relieve Mr. Cosby of these alleged accusations. Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegations waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”