Former Cosby Show cast members sue Bill Cosby and NBC Universal for sexual assault and battery. Cosby was previously convicted of sexual assault in 2018. This followed a 2015 arrest for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand, which Cosby was eventually found guilty of despite years of delayed court proceedings. The court eventually overruled Cosby’s conviction in June 2021, and the onetime comedian was released from prison.
Legal action against Cosby is now being pursued once again, according to Deadline. Cosby and NBCUniversal are being sued for sexual assault and battery in New York state court. Cosby’s newest accusers include The Cosby Show cast members Lili Bernard and Eden Tirl, along with three other women by the names of Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd. The complaint claims that Cosby continuously used his “enormous power in such a nefarious, horrific way.” According to the claim, NBC enabled these sexual assaults in order to secure their own financial success. The document continued:
“Defendants NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Inc., and The Carsey-Werner Company, LLC are also culpable and liable because they knew and/or should have known that Bill Cosby was sexually abusing, assaulting, and/or battering women, including on their premises, but did nothing to stop it.”
Bill Cosby’s Other Accusations and Charges
The fact that there are further allegations against Cosby should come as no surprise to those who have been following the comedian’s legal troubles over the years. Accusations against Cosby even predate the height of the #MeToo movement, where widespread assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other prominent Hollywood men surfaced in waves. Now, Cosby has over 60 allegations and counting. Among them was a claim that Cosby had assaulted Judy Huth when she was a minor. A jury this June awarded Huth $500,000 in damages, a decision which Cosby tried to contest this September to no avail.
How Previous Accusations About Cosby Compare To The New Ones
These most recent charges strike a different chord, however. Unlike other charges against the comedian, these most recent reports go beyond Cosby himself by implicating NBCUniversal in the matter. By holding NBCUniversal liable, this case acknowledges that it is not simply Cosby who is causing this injustice, but rather the systems that enabled and supported him, and likely turned a blind eye to malicious behavior of which they were fully aware. Thus, this case is a standout not just in the life and downfall of Cosby, but in the Me Too movement as a whole. This is #MeToo in action: holding both the powerful, abusive people and the systems on which they stand jointly accountable.
If the prosecution wins in this case against Cosby, this could be a landmark return to justice. Many people felt that Cosby’s release from prison was a massive miscarriage of justice, as he was, by many accounts, so clearly guilty of the allegations against him. Given Cosby’s track record in the Huth case and others, however, even if the prosecution is successful, Cosby will likely still contest the rulings.