Bill Cosby faces new lawsuit accusing him of rape in 1972

The comedian is accused of drugging and raping a waitress

Bill Cosby has been hit with a fresh lawsuit accusing him of rape in 1972.

The comedian and actor was released from prison in June 2021 after a 2018 sex assault conviction was overturned on a technicality. It did not mean that he was exonerated of drugging and sexually assaulting his accuser Andrea Constand, the allegations of which he has denied.

Now, a woman called Donna Motsinger who worked at a Bay Area restaurant in the ’70s has accused Cosby of drugging and raping her, Rolling Stone reports. Neither Cosby nor his representatives have responded to the claims at the time of writing.

Motsinger, who worked as a server at The Trident restaurant in Sausalito, California, claims in the lawsuit that the actor drugged her and sent her home with no clothes on but her underwear.

The claimant alleges in the lawsuit that she met Cosby at the Bay Area establishment and that he regularly visited the restaurant to see her. Motsinger claims that he invited her to his show at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos and that Cosby picked her up in a limo.

It’s then alleged by Motsinger that Cosby gave her a glass of wine during the ride to the theatre. Cosby is claimed to have taken her to a dressing room Motsinger alleges that she began to feel sick.

In the following moments Motsinger alleges that the comedian gave her what she thought was an aspirin but that after taking the pill she began to fall out of consciousness. She alleges that she “knew she had been drugged and raped by Bill Cosby”.

The lawsuit reads: “In the limousine, Mr. Cosby sat near the window and put his arms around her. The last thing Ms. Motsinger recalls were flashes of light.

“She woke up in her house with all her clothes off, except her underwear on – no top, no bra, and no pants.”

Production company Jemmin Inc., the now-dissolved MCA Inc., and Circle Star Theater Corp. also are named as defendants in the new lawsuit. The companies have yet not responded to the allegations.

Motsinger is seeking unspecified damages. Her lawyer Jesse Creed told Deadline that the organisations “not only provided a platform for Mr. Cosby to showcase his fame and fortune to lure in women, but then put their own profits over the safety of their female guests by turning a blind eye to Mr. Cosby’s alleged sexual assaults on women”.

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby pictured in 2018. CREDIT: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

In June 2021 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction following an appeal by his legal team

He was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting accuser Andrea Constand and vowed to serve all 10 years of his sentence rather than acknowledge any remorse.

Last year five women filed a new lawsuit against Cosby over alleged sexual assault. Representatives of the actor have denied the legitimacy of those claims.

Lisa Bloom, an lawyer who represents one of Cosby’s accusers, said in response to the overturned conviction in June 2021 that the ruling didn’t mean that he was innocent of what he’d been convicted of.

“It’s important to understand that nowhere in the 79-page decision did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court say Bill Cosby is innocent,” she said [via Sky News]. “They did not say that he is exonerated. They did not say that there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

“Instead, they said that he should never have been prosecuted in the first place because a prosecutor many years ago, back in 2005, promised that he would not prosecute him.

“And a subsequent prosecutor then came in and decided to do it. And ultimately, Cosby was convicted. But that was the only reason in the court’s decision and nobody should take this as a finding of innocence.”

Meanwhile, the five women who had previously alleged that the disgraced actor and comedian had abused them, who filed a lawsuit last December, are Lili Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson and Cindra Ladd [via The Guardian].

Their lawsuit claims that Cosby had assaulted each of the women at various points between the late ’60s and ’90s.

It’s said in legal documents that NBC, Kaufman Astoria Studios and Carsey-Werner Television were all complicit in Cosby’s alleged misconduct, and “facilitated the sexual assault of women” by refusing to monitor his actions.

A spokeswoman for NBCUniversal, the network that aired The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992, said that the company would not comment on legal issues. Neither Kaufman Astoria nor Carsey-Werner immediately returned phone or email messages left by The Guardian seeking comment.

Meanwhile, in June last year a jury found Cosby guilty of the sexual battery of a 16-year-old girl in the ’70s [via Vanity Fair].

Cosby denied the allegations. The claimant was awarded $500,000.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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