Bernard alleges the incident occurred when Cosby held a mentoring session for her in his suite at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City in 1990. Bernard claims that shortly after drinking the non-alcoholic beverage offered to her by the now-disgraced comedian, she “began to feel symptoms of dizziness, an urge to vomit, and weakness.”
Bernard allegedly slipped in and out of consciousness, but recalls seeing “Mr. Cosby naked atop her,” and telling him “no.” The following morning, Bernard claims Cosby gave her money and provided her with transportation to return to New York.
The two met on the set of The Cosby Show where he sought to take her under his wing, and help support her acting career. The lawsuit alleges “looked upon Ms. Bernard as if she were his daughter,” stressing “that chastity was a virtue, warned her of the sexual pressures of Hollywood,” and allowed her to call him “Daddy.”
“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 statement.
Bernard filed the lawsuit in New Jersey on Thursday as part of the state’s two-year law which allows for victims of sexual abuse to bring a suit against someone, regardless of when the incident occurred.
“These look back provisions are unconstitutional and they are a sheer violation of an individual’s constitutional rights and denies that individual of their due process,” Cosby’s representative Andrew Wyatt said. “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.”
“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 concluded.
Cosby was released from prison in June after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his conviction because a previous prosecutor agreed that he would not be charged in exchange for his testimony. The court’s decision also meant Cosby couldn’t be retried.
Cosby had been just over two years into his three-to-ten-year sentence.