Flanked by three weeping accusers of under-fire Bill Cosby, California attorney Gloria Allred proposed Wednesday he agree to be sued by any accusers to establish in court the truth of “whether he is a saint or a sexual predator.”
Three more women joined Allred at her Los Angeles news conference, crying copiously as they related graphic details of how Cosby allegedly assaulted them in decades past, including one who was 17 at the time.
They join a group of women, multiplying daily, who have gone public in recent weeks with allegations of sexual assault by the entertainment icon dating back decades.
If Cosby declines to waive the statute of limitations, which prevents most of the accusers from filing charges or a civil lawsuit, then Allred proposed he could agree to place $100 million into a fund and then be judged with his accusers before a panel of retired judges who would arbitrate the merits of each claim and dole out compensation if a claim has merit.
“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,” Allred said. “The public deserves to know if Mr Cosby is a saint or a sexual predator.”
Allred said one of the accusers with her at the news conference, Beth Ferrier, had been a “Jane Doe” in a 2006 lawsuit against Cosby, one of a dozen women who were willing to testify against him in that case. But they never got the chance because that suit was settled.
The two other women, Helen Hayes and a woman identified only as Chelan, had never spoken to reporters before, Allred said, although the outlines of their stories had been mentioned in various news accounts of the allegations against Cosby.
“I want Mr. Cosby to face justice for what he has done to me and so many other women,” declared Beth Ferrier, an aspiring model/actress who had a consensual affair with Cosby in the mid-80s in New York.
After their affair ended, she says she met with him in Colorado, he drugged her cappuccino, she passed out and woke up in the back of her car with her clothes undone and no idea what had happened.
“I believe that Mr. Cosby drugged me in order to sexually assault me that night,” she said.
Hayes described an encounter with Cosby in 1973 at Clint Eastwood’s celebrity tennis tournament in Pebble Beach. She says he followed her around, confronted her in a restaurant and grabbed her right breast.
“I was stunned and angry because he had no right to do that and I did not know why he would behave that way. His behavior was like that of a predator,” she said before collapsing in tears.
Chelan said she was was 17 and working at a Las Vegas Hilton when she was introduced to Cosby, who invited her to meet him in a suite to be introduced to a modeling agency photographer. She had a cold, he gave her what he said was an antihistamine with double shot of Ameretto.
He walked her to the bedroom, she got on the bed, he got on next to her and “began pinching my left nipple and humping my leg while he was grunting,” she said. “I could not open my eyes. I couldn’t move or say anything. I felt something warm on my legs. Then I blacked out.”
Later, she heckled him at his show. She was fired from her job as a result.
“It is time for justice and accountability. We challenge Mr. Cosby to end this nightmare for both him and his alleged victims by accepting either option we propose,” Allred said.
She said she has not been in contact or in negotiations with Cosby or his lawyer, Martin Singer.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Maria Puente