In an L.A. press conference, attorney Gloria Allred calls for Cosby to face his accusers
Three more women are speaking out to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault. At a press conference on Wednesday, L.A. attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the accusers, demanded Cosby place $100 million in a fund for his alleged victims and allow a panel of retired judges to decide whether the women’s claims have merit or not.
Allred – a civil-rights lawyer often in the headlines for cases involving women’s rights and celebrities – proposed that Cosby should waive the statute of limitations on sexual assault claims, which would permit the women to file lawsuits against the beleaguered comedian.
“It could be advantageous for Mr. Cosby to give up the statute of limitations because there is a huge cloud on his reputation and legacy,” she said.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, has blasted the wave of new accusations against Cosby. “These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous,” he said in a statement on Nov. 21.
Allred told reporters that she had been approached by a number of women who claimed that Cosby either drugged or sexually assaulted them. “Many of those alleged victims contacted me to determine if they had any legal rights that they could assert against Mr. Cosby,” she said. “Unfortunately, with a rare exception, I had to inform these women that it was too late for them to file a lawsuit against Mr. Cosby because of the statute of limitations.”
“If Mr. Cosby believes all the women are being untruthful, then this is his opportunity to prove it,” she added. “What could be fairer than that?”
In a statement provided by Allred, the three accusers all said they met Cosby in the ’70s or ’80s. Beth Ferrier, a Colorado native who first spoke to PEOPLE in 2006 when she supported a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand against Cosby and told PEOPLE last month she felt “there needs to be an outcry” over Cosby’s behavior, said she was an aspiring actress and model when she met Cosby through her then-agent in New York City in the mid-’80s and began an affair. After she broke up with him, he called her in Denver and invited her to one of his performances. While she was backstage, Ferrier alleges, Cosby spiked her cappuccino. “The next thing I knew, hours had passed, and I woke up in the back of my car alone. My clothes were a mess; my bra was undone. My car was in the alleyway behind the venue. I felt confused and disoriented. I had no idea what happened to me. The last memory I had was drinking Mr. Cosby’s coffee.”
Ferrier said two security guards drove her home at Cosby’s request. That same night, Ferrier said she drove to Cosby’s hotel to confront him. “Mr. Cosby’s explanation for what happened was that ‘[I] had too much to drink.’ I did not believe him. I had not consumed any alcohol that night. I believe that Mr. Cosby drugged me in order to sexually assault me that night.”
Ferrier said she told the National Enquirer about her assault in 2005 and passed a lie detector test. However, she said, the paper didn’t publish her story and instead ran an exclusive interview with Cosby, who denied all the allegations.
Helen Hayes said she met Cosby in 1973 while attending Clint Eastwood’s Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Pebble Beach, California. She said Cosby groped her right breast at a restaurant later that night. “I was stunned and angry because he had no right to do that and I did not know why he would behave that way,” she said. “His behavior was like that of a predator.
The third alleged victim, identified only by a first name, Chelan, said she met Cosby in Las Vegas in 1986 when she was 17 and working at the Hilton as a bell dispatcher at the bell desk. Chelan alleged Cosby invited her to his suite so he could introduce her to someone from the Ford modeling agency. There, she said, he gave her a blue pill he said was an antihistamine with a double shot of Amaretto.
Chelan said Cosby walked her to the bedroom and began sexually assaulting her. “I could not open my eyes. I couldn’t move or say anything. I felt something warm on my legs. Then I blacked out.”
She said she woke up hours later to Cosby clapping his hands and saying, “Daddy says wake up.” He then gave her $1,500 to buy something nice for her and her grandmother, she said.