By Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
LOS ANGELES — Sitting with three more women who say that they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, attorney Gloria Allred renewed her call for the comedian to waive the statute of limitations that blocks some women from suing him or allow arbitration so the women can be compensated.
The women shared their stories at a news conference hosted by Allred on Wednesday, bringing the number of women who have stepped forward with similar accusations to more than two dozen.
Allred represents many of the women who claim to have been assaulted. The women who came forward Wednesday contend that they were assaulted years ago, with two saying that they were attacked during the 1980s, and the third in the 1990s.
Linda Kirkpatrick said she met Cosby when she was 25, during a mixed doubles tennis tournament at the Cambridge Racquet Club in Las Vegas in 1981. She said Cosby invited her to his show that night and said that when she arrived at the Last Vegas Hilton for the show, Cosby handed her a tall, thin flute filled with a drink she didn’t recognize.
“The next thing I remember, I was sitting on a large plastic box in a very dark room where the spotlight was being operated by a man. … I was told this is where Cosby wanted us to sit,” Kirkpatrick said.
Her next memory, she said, was being back in the dressing room alone with the comedian.
“I was lying down. Cosby was on top of me kissing me forcefully,” she said.
Kirkpatrick said the alleged sexual assault was the first of two instances in which Cosby forced himself on her.
Lynn Neal alleged that Cosby removed her clothing and began sexually assaulting her, despite her protests.
A third woman, identified only by a first name, Kacey, told reporters that she met Cosby while working for the William Morris Agency. During her six years with the company, she said, she developed a “cordial professional relationship” with Cosby.
“I considered him a father figure or a favorite uncle, so without hesitation I accepted invitations to have dinner with him. … I accepted phone calls from him to my home,” she said.
At one point in their relationship, Kacey said, she met with Cosby for lunch at his bungalow at the Hotel Bel-Air. Food and wine were brought into the suite, and he gave her a large white pill to help her relax, she said.
After declining several times, she finally took the pill, she said. Kacey awoke later in a bed with Cosby wearing only an open robe, she said.
Los Angeles police have opened a criminal investigation and last month detectives interviewed a woman who says that she was sexually assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion decades ago.
An attorney representing Cosby dismissed the accusation as being “patently false.” Calls to Cosby’s attorney regarding Wednesday’s allegations were not immediately returned.
No criminal charges have been filed.
“Predators have no right to prey upon women, to drug them, to sexually assault them, to hurt them and to target them, humiliate them and force them to endure physical and emotional pain,” Allred said Wednesday.
Allred also fired back at Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife in his long-running television sitcom The Cosby Show and who has supported him in the face of the mounting accusations.
“Forget these women,” Rashad reportedly said in an interview earlier this week. “What you are seeing is the destruction of a legacy and it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
But Allred said that if Cosby’s legacy is destroyed by these accusations, he had no one to blame but himself.
Cosby has been dropped from television projects and some appearances since the women started coming forward, though the embattled comedian is currently hosting a three-night tour in Canada.
AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary