Entertainment

Cosby sued over alleged 1970s sex assault on girl of 15

LOS ANGELES: US television legend Bill Cosby, already facing a barrage of sex abuse and rape allegations, is now being sued by a woman who claims he sexually assaulted her at the Playboy mansion when she was underage.

Judy Huth, now 55, sued the comedian on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress. She says that at age 15 she and a friend, then 16, met Cosby on a film set and that he invited them to meet at a tennis club the following week.

When they did, the suit alleges, Cosby served the girls alcoholic beverages and they all played billiards.

“Under the terms of Cosby’s game, plaintiff was required to consume a beer every time Cosby won a game,” the suit claims. After the two girls had “multiple alcoholic beverages,” Cosby allegedly told them he had a surprise for them “and led them to another house which turned out to be the Playboy Mansion.”

In a room at Hugh Hefner’s infamous residence, Cosby allegedly “proceeded to sexually molest her by attempting to put his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent,” the suit charges.

— ‘Psychological damage’ —

Huth alleges that she has sustained “psychological damage and mental anguish” throughout her life, but only recently discovered the problems were “caused by the sexual abuse perpetrated by Cosby.”

Around 20 women have now accused the 77-year-old Emmy and Golden Globe winner of sexual assault and even rape in alleged incidents dating mostly from decades ago during Cosby’s heyday.

Cosby is world famous for his role in “The Cosby Show” that aired in the 1980s and 1990s.

The actor, known for playing a doting father on the popular “The Cosby Show” has come under fire in recent weeks over claims made by many women.

“The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40 or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity,” his lawyer Martin Singer said in a statement last week.

Cosby resigned his position on the board of trustees of Temple University in Philadelphia, which he once attended but did not graduate from, in the wake of the sexual assault allegations.

Among the women who have now accused the actor of drugging and raping them is Andrea Constand, a former director of operations for the Temple women’s basketball team.

The case has riveted Americans with its suggestion that one of its most beloved and popular entertainers was in effect living a double life as a sexual predator.

But with most of the alleged attacks now more than 10 years in the past, Cosby, who has dismissed the allegations as “innuendo” but largely remained quiet, is unlikely to face criminal charges due to statutes of limitations.

The legendary star of “I Spy” was the subject of a civil suit brought in 2005 by 15 women, 13 of whom remained anonymous. A settlement was reached in 2006 with one of the plaintiffs.

Amid the new storm of allegations, contracts Cosby had to appear in new shows or special performances have been cancelled.

“He’s trying to go on with the show, but the damage may be irrevocable,” said celebrity news magazine People, in a cover story last week about a man long known as the nation’s favorite dad. -AFP

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