The list of women publicly accusing comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault or attempted assault continues to grow today with the addition of 71-year-old grandmother and New Hampshire resident, Kristina Ruehli. She is the 10th woman to accuse Cosby publicly, claiming that the comedian attempted to sexually assault her in 1965 — the earliest alleged yet.
Ruehli spoke with Philadelphia magazine's Victor Fiorillo today, saying that Cosby tried to force her to perform oral sex on him at his California home when she was 22. A young secretary for a talent agency at the time, Ruehli says that Cosby invited her and her co-workers to a party at his place after an airing of Hollywood Palace in 1965:
When I arrived at his house -- it was probably around 10 p.m. -- I was surprised that there was no one else there. He was very well liked at the agency, and so I expected others to be there. But no one else arrived.
Cosby's wife, Ruehli says, was out of town, leaving the house virtually empty.
From there, the series of events that seems to come up in Cosby's alleged assaults begins to make its appearance:
He proceeded to pour some bourbon. I drank a bourbon-and-7 at the time. I could really hold my liquor. I'm Irish. And I had a couple of those -- just two -- and then I just don't remember much.
At that age, two bourbon-and-7s would not have knocked me out cold, believe me. In those days, I could drink most men under the table. It was a standard eight-ounce glass, and they were not overly strong, or I would have noticed it.
As in previous claims, however, Ruehli didn't remain out for long, and allegedly came to with Cosby looming over her:
He was attempting to force me into oral sex. He had his hand on my head. He had his c--- out, and he had my head pushed close enough to it — I just remember looking at his stomach hair. And the hair on his chest. I had never seen a black man naked before.
Ruehli also says she didn't speak of her experience to anyone for years, only eventually telling her husband when Andrea Constand's case hit the public eye in 2005. She was never deposed but was counted among the Jane Does ready to testify in that case:
Until I read about Andrea, I never really had a reason to tell anyone about it. But when I read about her, she's getting called a liar, and I don't like that. So I am going to say these people are not the only ones. And now that more women are coming forward and people are calling them liars, I decided to come forward again.
Bill Cosby, for his part, has refused through his lawyer to address any allegations and has never been charged or faced trial in any of the cases.