Bill Cosby broke his silence somewhat yesterday, stepping out from his icy "no comment" resolve we've come to expect to tweet thanks to Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott, his most notable public defenders. As his silence softened, three more women came forward to accuse the comedian publicly of sexual assault in a joint press conference led by civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred.
The new accusers all told their stories openly for the first time yesterday, including Beth Ferrier, who was a Jane Doe witness in the 2005 Andrea Constand suit against Cosby, which was settled out of court. Ferrier claims she dated Cosby for several months in the 1980s before she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the comedian. The Washington Post describes Ferrier's experience:
Cosby greeted her backstage and gave her a cappuccino, she said. She quickly felt dizzy and nauseous and then blacked out, Ferrier said. She alleged that she woke up several hours later, alone in her car, with her clothing and undergarments disheveled. "I believe Mr. Cosby drugged me and sexually assaulted me that night," Ferrier told the news conference.
A second woman identifying herself only as "Chelan" accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1986 at a Las Vegas Hilton when she was 17. Via People:
Chelan alleged Cosby invited her to his suite so he could introduce her to someone from the Ford Modeling Agency. There, she said, he gave her a blue pill he said was an antihistamine with a double shot of Amaretto.
Chelan said Cosby walked her to the bedroom and began sexually assaulting her. "I could not open my eyes. I couldn't move or say anything. I felt something warm on my legs. Then I blacked out."
She said she woke up hours later to Cosby clapping his hands and saying, "Daddy says wake up." He then gave her $1,500 to buy something nice for her and her grandmother, she said.
The third accuser, Helen Hayes, accuses Cosby of groping her during a 1973 celebrity tennis tournament hosted by Clint Eastwood. Via USA Today:
"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.
Allred, a self-described "feminist lawyer" who is known for controversial and celebrity cases, is also challenging Cosby to put up $100 million for his accusers and let a group of retired judges decided the truth.
"There are many people suffering out there," Allred said at the press conference. "Many you've heard from in the past month and many more you may hear from in the future… Let's end the nightmare for everyone and start a process to begin the healing."