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Who Is Lili Bernard? Here’s What We Know About the Former ‘Cosby Show’ Actress Who Is Part of the New Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Bill Cosby

Lili Bernard, who guest-starred on “The Cosby Show,” is among the five women who have filed a new lawsuit against NBC and Bill Cosby in New York court. The women claim Cosby raped or forced them into sexual assault, as noted in a Variety report. Some of incidents dated back to 1969 and others between the late 1980s or 1990s, during the peak of the television series, which aired on the network from 1984 to 1992.

Who Is Lili Bernard?

Bernard, Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, and Jennifer Thompson, and Cindra Ladd filed the suit under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. It allows “adult survivors of sexual misconduct to sue the perpetrators — and the institutions that enabled them — in civil court, no matter how long ago these incidents happened. and others to go over past allegations regardless of the statute of limitations.” According to the outlet, the law still applies to accusers who were adults at the time of the attack.

Bill Cosby accuser Lili Bernard is among the women who sued the disgraced producer for sexual assault. (Photo: @lilibernard/Twitter/)

Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, denied the new allegations, describing the women as “a parade of accusers,” calling their suit “frivolous.”

“As we have always stated, and now America can see, this isn’t about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault, it’s ALL ABOUT MONEY,” Wyatt said. “We believe that the courts, as well as the court of public opinion, will follow the rules of law and relieve Mr. Cosby of these alleged accusations. Mr. Cosby continues to vehemently deny all allegations waged against him and looks forward to defending himself in court.”

Bernard Sued Cosby in 2021

Bernard previously said she met Cosby on the set of “The Cosby Show.” She viewed him as a “mentor” due to his knowledge and history of the acting business. Her latest allegations are similar to her initial claims against the disgraced comedian in 2015 during a CNN interview.

The actress accused the now-85-year-old of drugging and raping her at a studio, noting how he “violently” “grabbed and squeezed” her breasts during a vocal projection exercise. She added that he raped her at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in August 1990.

Rolling Stone obtained a copy of the new suit, which details three acts of sexual assault by Cosby. It says he allegedly rapped Bernard during the first incident at Cosby’s home in New Jersey, where he put an “unknown intoxicant” in her drink. She said she was “in denial” about the rape when she accepted a trip to Las Vegas, where the second incident took place. 

“The Golden Years” star believed she was there for Cosby to introduce her to producers of the hit series, “A Different World.” The suit claims he put another “unknown intoxicant” in her drink and raped her again. She was reportedly debilitated both times. but this time, she woke up during the alleged assault and said, “No.”

“Bill Cosby covered her mouth with his hand and then smothered her entire face with a pillow until Ms. Bernard lost consciousness again,” the legal claim states about the second incident.

Bernard said she planned to go to the hospital and call the police over the third incident in 1991 at Cosby’s Manhattan home. She confessed that he threatened to “blacklist” her if he refused to perform oral sex on him.

In October 2021, Bernard filed a separate suit in New Jersey against Cosby and attended his trial this past June in the civil sexual assault lawsuit brought by Judy Huth. “I have waited a long time to be able to pursue my case in court and I look forward to being heard and to hold Cosby accountable for what he did to me,” she said. “Although it occurred long ago, I still live with the fear, pain and shame every day of my life.”

Bernard’s Appearance on “The Cosby Show”

Bernard played a very pregnant woman named Mrs. Minifield in the episode titled, “Bring Me the Lip Gloss of Deirdre Arpelle.” The 58-year-old filmed one scene with Cosby, who portrayed Dr. Cliff Huxtable, where they discussed the process of giving birth in his office.

Mrs. Minifield and Dr. Huxtable spoke over the phone about her contractions in another scene. Instead of heading to the hospital, she showed up in a cab to Dr. Huxtable’s house with contractions less than four minutes apart. Ed Lover played the impatient taxi driver.

Bernard’s Personal Life

Bernard has also appeared in “Seinfield,” “Screenplay,” and 2020’s “The Centre Cannot Fold.” She is currently a wife and mom of six who lives in Los Angeles, according to The Sun. Her husband is a civil rights attorney named Franklin Ferguson Jr.

The Cuban-born artist founded the Black Artist in Los Angeles (BAILA) movement, which organizes and hosts art exhibits and studio visits. Their foundation is based around mentoring fellow Black visual artists while amplifying their work and careers.

BAILA’s ultimate goal is to serve as a catalyst in the erasure of the gross marginalization of Black visual artists across the nation,” as stated on the company’s website. “BAILA is not exclusive to Black people. It is inclusive of any person who has an interest in Black art, regardless of their race, or whose work explores Black culture.  There are therefore members of BAILA who are not Black.”

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