Nine women filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Bill Cosby in Nevada on Wednesday, just weeks after the state passed a law eliminating the statute of limitations for civil cases.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada, accuses Cosby of using his “enormous power, fame and prestige” to isolate and sexually assault each of the nine women named in the lawsuit. Most of the accusations involve Cosby allegedly drugging the women after he had lured them with offers of help with their acting or in a more general sense, to mentor them.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo on May 31 signed SB129, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases involving adults. Before that, the state had a two-year cutoff for adults to bring forth their cases in court.
The women are Janice Dickinson, Lise-Lotte Lublin, Janice Baker Kinney, Lili Bernard, Heidi Thomas, Linda Kirkpatrick, Rebecca Cooper, Pam Joy Abeyta and Angela Leslie.
Some of the many accusations against Cosby are not new, indeed some are decades old. He has been publicly accused of sexual abuses from groping to rape by more than 60 women, but some lawsuits are being revived as states change statutes defining how courts handle sexual misconduct cases.
Cosby, 85, has consistently denied all allegations of sexual abuse and he has no criminal convictions, but he was found civilly liable last year of having molested Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1975, when she was 16. His attorneys called her a liar.
Andrew Wyatt, his spokesperson, accused the women suing Cosby of being motivated by their “addiction to massive amounts of media attention and greed.”
“From this day forward, we will not continue to allow these women to parade various accounts … against Mr. Cosby anymore without vetting them in the court of public opinion and inside of the courtroom,” Wyatt said. Perhaps in an attempt to discourage similar lawsuits, the statement seems to be a veiled threat that the accuser will be submitted to harsh scrutiny of her private life.
Lublin, a Nevada native, is one of the women named in the suit. She and other Cosby accusers advocated for the new legislation that made this new civil claim possible.
Lublin has publicly accused Cosby of drugging her at a hotel in Las Vegas in 1989, alleging that she met him in his room so he could evaluate her acting with an improvisation. According to the lawsuit, Cosby gave her two drinks that he said would “help her relax,” but they caused her to black out.
Baker-Kinney was invited to a party at Cosby’s home in Reno, Nevada, in 1982, the lawsuit said, but when she arrived, Cosby was home alone. According to her account, Cosby offered her what she believed were barbiturates and lost consciousness.
Janice Baker-Kinney claims Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1982.
Baker-Kinney and Thomas testified against Cosby in 2018 in his Pennsylvania criminal case, in which he was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby was initially convicted in the 2018 trial of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, but Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court vacated his conviction in 2021. The court found that he was denied protection against self-incrimination.
Bernard is one of five women who sued Cosby in New York in December, accusing him of sexual assault after she met him on the set of “The Cosby Show.” His representatives have denied the allegations.
Cosby also faces a civil lawsuit in California, filed this month by former Playboy model Victoria Valentino. She has accused Cosby of drugging her and raping her in 1969, which he has also denied.