Three more women bring charges of sexual assault against Cosby

Three more women accusing actor and comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault have given graphic details of how he allegedly abused them during the prime of his fame.

Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer and Eden Tiri, both actresses, and Colleen Hughes, a former air steward, said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday that the comedian used his power as a celebrity, and in one case a drug, to violate and harass them in the 1970s and 1980s.

More than 40 women have gone public in the past year with allegations against Cosby, 78, a once-beloved figure who has fallen into disgrace.

The entertainer faces a criminal investigation by Los Angeles police but has not been charged. He has acknowledged marital infidelity but denied criminal wrongdoing, saying any sexual encounters were consensual.

Gloria Allred, a celebrity attorney representing many of the women, hosted the latest alleged victims in her Beverly Hills office. “We are not finished yet. These are not the last three to come forward,” she said.

Ridgeway Whitedeer, who appeared in the film The Mechanic, said the William Morris talent agency arranged a meeting with Cosby around 1971, ostensibly for an acting job.

She said the entertainer, a household name from his role in the I Spy series, ushered her into a director’s office where, clutching her portfolio, she took a seat.

“I felt Cosby’s left hand gently grab my long hair behind my head. His giant frame blocked the door so if anyone should try to enter, they would not be able to see what he was doing,” she said in a prepared statement. “As I looked up his penis was out of his pants and he shoved it in my mouth. His attack was fast with surgical precision and surprise on his side.”

Ridgeway Whitedeer said she could not breathe and was in shock. “When Cosby was done there was a horrible mess of semen all over my face, my clothes and in my hair. He took a Kleenex to try and wipe off my face. I was bordering between vomiting and passing out. He was mumbling that I had been blessed with his semen as if it was holy water,” she said.

She said he escorted her to her car, leaving her “feeling like a small animal that had been hit by a car”. She considered telling someone at William Morris, or Cosby’s wife, Camille, but instead stayed quiet, feeling her confidence and integrity compromised.

Hughes said she was in her 20s and working as a steward with American Airlines in the early 1970s when Cosby flirted with her on a flight to LA and invited her to lunch. They stopped off at her hotel, the Miramar, and he watched TV in her room while she showered and changed, she said.

She said drinking from a glass was the last thing she remembered until waking about 5pm.

“I was shocked and didn’t [know] how I lost the time … My clothes were thrown all over the room and I felt semen on the small of my back and all over me. I was confused and ashamed and never told anyone about what happened to me.”

Hughes said she met Cosby on another flight a year later, where he apparently did not recognise her. “I told him to ‘go sit his butt down in his assigned seat and keep that thing in his pants this time’. I told him, ‘You already had me once and I don’t want to ever be drugged by you again.’ ”

She claimed: “Bill turned pale and said, ‘Did you report this to anyone?’ ”

Hughes said she told no one for 40 years until other alleged victims started coming forward.

Eden Tiri, a model and actor, was aged 22 in 1989 when she landed the role of a cop on the Cosby Show, the NBC prime time comedy, then in its fifth season, in which Cosby played Dr Cliff Huxtable.

On her fourth day on the set, she said, she was told to wait for Cosby in his dressing room.

The mood allegedly turned when he asked Tiri if she had what it took to succeed in television. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered that they were going to make love, she said. He then left the room, she said, leaving her shaken but feeling unable to complain: “Bill Cosby was untouchable.”

In May Lili Bernard, an actor who played Mrs Minifield in the Cosby Show, accused the star of drugging and raping her.

Cosby’s representatives made no immediate response to the latest accusations and did not reply to a Guardian request for comment. His attorney, Marty Singer, has previously dismissed similar allegations made by other women as “discredited” and “defamatory”.

A Los Angeles superior court judge has ordered Cosby to give a sworn deposition in a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused Judy Huth when she was 15 at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles in 1974. He is due to submit to questions under oath from Allred, on behalf of Huth, on 9 October. She has vowed to “grill him like a cheeseburger”. – © Guardian News & Media 2015

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Rory Carroll
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