LOS ANGELES – Appearing with three women who say they were sexually abused by Bill Cosby, attorney Gloria Allred on Wednesday called for the comedian to waive the statute of limitations in the cases so that he could clear his name in court.
Speaking at a press conference held in her Los Angeles office, Allred said, “the public has a right to know” whether the charges against Cosby are substantial.
“It could be advantageous for Mr. Cosby to give up the statute of limitations because there is a huge cloud on his reputation and legacy,” Allred said. “The public deserves to know if Mr. Cosby is a saint or a sexual predator.”
Allred also proposed that if Cosby does not waive the statute of limitations, he should instead place $100 million into escrow, and invite a panel of retired judges to consider claims against Cosby on a case-by-case basis. Should the judges find merit in a claim, the victim could be awarded compensation from the escrowed funds.
In a release announcing the press conference, Allred said her proposals “will be the best way for all of the women who allege that they were victims of Bill Cosby to obtain justice in this matter,” and that the proposals would “also be fair to Bill Cosby.”
“It is time for justice and accountability,” Allred said. “We challenge Mr. Cosby to end this nightmare for both him and his alleged victims by accepting either option we propose.”
The three alleged victims of Cosby also spoke at the press conference, providing details of their encounters with the comedian.
Beth Ferrier, who claimed that she had an “extramarital affair” with Cosby in the mid-80’s, recounted an incident in which she was allegedly given a cup of spiked coffee backstage during a performance by the comedian, and woke up several hours later in the backseat of her car, disoriented and confused.
“I believe that Mr. Cosby drugged me in order to sexually assault me that night,” Ferrier said, fighting back tears. “I want Mr. Cosby to face justice for what he has done to me and so many other women,” she added.
In the remarks, Allred said Ferrier was Jane Doe #5 in a 2006 lawsuit filed against Cosby, but never got a chance to testify, as the case was settled out of court. The other women had reportedly never spoken to the media before about their claims.
One of the women, identified only as “Chelan,” claimed that Cosby assaulted her while she was 17 at a Las Vegas Hilton. Cosby allegedly invited her to his hotel room under the pretense of setting up a photo shoot with a modeling agency, then allegedly proceeded to give her alcohol and sexually abuse her in the hotel room bedroom.
“I could not open my eyes,” she said tearfully. “I could not move or say anything. I felt something warm on my legs, then I blacked out.”
The woman claimed that Cosby later gave her $1,500 and told her to buy something nice for her grandmother.
Cosby and his attorney have not yet commented on Allred’s proposals.