A woman who said Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her when she was a young comedy writer more than 50 years ago filed a lawsuit against the actor on Thursday under a soon-to-expire New York law that gave sexual assault victims a one-year deadline. claims that would otherwise be barred by statutes of limitations.
Joan Tarshis first came forward with allegations against Cosby in 2014 that are repeated in the new lawsuit. Tarsis said Cosby drugged her and forced her to give him oral sex in 1969 or 1970 and then drugged and raped her during another encounter a year or two later.
The New York resident was living in California at the time of the first attack and had met Cosby through a mutual friend while starring on “The Bill Cosby Show,” according to the lawsuit filed in New York state Supreme Court.
A representative for Cosby would not comment on the specifics of Tarshis' allegations.
“Diddy, LA Reid, Steven Tyler, and now they're back at it,” said spokesman Andrew Wyatt, referring to others who have recently sued under New York's Adult Survivors Act. “When will it stop?”
Cosby, 86, has been accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment by more than 60 women. He has denied all charges involving sexual crimes. He was the first celebrity tried and convicted in the #MeToo era and spent nearly three years in a state prison near Philadelphia before a higher court overturned the conviction and set him free in 2021.
Tarshis was one of the first accusers to speak publicly about Cosby, whom she met when she was 19 and just breaking into comedy writing. An interview she did with CNN reporter Don Lemon soon after it appeared drew attention on social media and an apology from Lemon. While on air, the host suggested that Tarshis could have bitten Cosby on his genitals during the first attack, which Tarshis said she hadn't considered.
Tarshis previously sued Cosby in Massachusetts, where Cosby had a home. She was among seven women who filed defamation claims after Cosby called them liars. The cases were settled in 2019.
The new lawsuit alleges assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. He is seeking unspecified damages.
In it, Tarshis said Cosby invited her to meet with him at the studio where he was filming his show, under the pretense that she was working on a sketch he was writing. Once inside his bungalow, Tarshis said she passed out after accepting a drink from Cosby and woke up to find him stripping her before forcing her to perform oral sex.
“Ms. Tarshis was distraught and feared for her life” and returned to New York without telling anyone what happened, according to the lawsuit.
She next heard from Cosby in 1971, when he called her at home, spoke with her mother and invited her to his show at the Westbury Music Fair, the suit said.
“Although Ms. Tarshis dreaded the prospect of seeing Cosby again, she had not yet told anyone, including her mother, about the previous sexual assault and reluctantly agreed to meet with Cosby at her mother's insistence,” according to the treatment.
She said she passed out in a limousine arranged for them by Cosby and woke up the next morning in a bed next to Cosby, who she said had stripped and raped her.
The Adult Survivors Act is set to expire next week.
Antonio “LA” Reid, a music executive, last week sued an executive who claims Reid sexually assaulted her twice in 2001. Emails and phone messages were left by Joel Katz, an attorney who represented Reid when the allegations surfaced in 2017 .He did not immediately return Friday night.
Sean “Diddy” Combs has denied rape and abuse allegations made by an ex-girlfriend earlier this week.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has not publicly responded to a lawsuit filed earlier this month.