How Many Women Have Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault? The Number Is Horrifically Large — UPDATE
Update Nov. 20: A seventh woman, Therese Serignese, came forward publicly to share her own claims of sexual abuse from Bill Cosby with the Huffington Post.
Update Nov. 21: Two more women came forward publicly with claims of sexual abuse. Carla Ferrigno, wife of actor Lou Ferrigno, spoke out on the John and Ken radio show, and actress Angela Leslie shared her story with the New York Daily News.
Update Nov. 24: On Saturday, Nov. 22, actress Michelle Hurd and comedy club manager Joyce Emmons both came forward with public allegations of sexual abuse from Cosby. On Sunday, Nov. 23, reports came out of actress Renita Chaney Hill sharing her claims of abuse publicly. On Monday, Nov. 24, former models Victoria Valentino and Jewel Allison did the same bringing the total number of women who have spoken out publicly to 14.
Update: Dec. 2: On Nov. 25, Jena T., who made an anonymous statement during the 2005 case, made claims against Cosby in an interview with People. Additionally, on Nov. 26, Donna Motsinger, also a former Jane Doe, shared her story of alleged abuse with The New York Post.
Update: Dec. 3: On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Judith Huth filed a lawsuit against Cosby claiming that he sexually molested her when she was 15 years old. This brings the number of women who have spoken out publicly to 17.
Update Dec. 4: Helen Hayes, Beth Ferrier, and a woman who is going by “Chelan” (her real name remains anonymous) came forward during a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred.
Update Jan. 5: As of Jan. 5, 2015, Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by 23 women including 24-year-old Chloe Goins, a woman who goes by "Lisa" who appeared on the Dr. Phil show, and actress Katherine McKee.
Update Jan. 7: Three more women, Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, and a woman who goes by "Kacey," accused Cosby of sexual abuse during a press conference with Gloria Allred, bringing the number of public accusations to 26.
Update March 5: On Jan. 26, Cindra Ladd came forward claiming she was drugged and raped. On Feb. 9, Helen Gumpel claimed Cosby made sexual advances towards her including putting his crotch in her face. On Feb. 26, Heidi Thomas accused Cosby of sexual assault. And on March 3, a woman going only by "Patricia" claimed the comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her.
Update Sept. 30: In the time since the claims against Cosby began making major headlines, many more women have come forward with claims. According to USA Today, the number is now over 50.
Raven-Symone may have denied a report that she was sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby during her time on The Cosby Show as a toddler, but there are still women out there who are searching for justice. It's heartbreaking to think that a man many of us grew up watching could be capable of this kind of abuse, but the investigation into the allegations against Cosby is far from over — and it becomes even more horrific when you realize exactly how many women have come forward to share their stories, now and in the past. So exactly how many women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault? Six women have made statements against Cosby, and another 10 anonymous women have been referenced in court. As for whether the two women who spoke out most recently (Janice Dickinson and Joan Tarshis), it is unclear if they were included anonymously in the previous court case, so the total number who have come forward (anonymously are otherwise) is somewhere between 14 and 16.
The first woman to make a formal accusation against Cosby was Andrea Constand, who claimed that the assault took place in Pennsylvania in 2004. Soon after, former attorney Tamara Green said that Cosby drugged and groped her in 1970. During the court case between Constand and Cosby, claims by 12 anonymous women came forward. One of these women, Beth Ferrier, later came out publicly about her similar story that took place in 1984. This lawsuit was eventually settled in November 2006 after the district attorney said there was "insufficient credible and admissible evidence" to make any criminal charges against Cosby.
The next accusation came just a month later, when Barbara Bowman, one of the anonymous women from Constand's case, spoke to People. She said the abuse happened on multiple occasions in 1985 when she 18 and looked to Cosby as a mentor when she was trying to break into the entertainment industry. According to Bowman, when she was given a glass of red wine that made her feel "completely doped up" and resisted his forceful advances in a Reno hotel, Cosby had her taken to the airport and cut off all contact with her.
After the accusations came to light again earlier this month, another victim came forward: Joan Tarshis, who told Hollywood Elsewhere about her experience with Cosby, which took place when she was 19 in 1965. She mentioned that Cosby made her a drink he called a "red eye" that made her feel "stoned" and hazy, before taking advantage of her:
The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed. Through the haze I thought I was being clever when I told him I had an infection and he would catch it and his wife would know he had sex with someone. But he just found another orifice to use. I was sickened by what was happening to me and shocked that this man I had idolized was now raping me. Of course I told no one.
And then, finally, the most recent accusation: Janice Dickinson's when she spoke to Entertainment Tonight on November 18 about allegations she'd made against Cosby in 2006 that were ignored. Dickinson's story is a lot like the ones the other women have told. She says she was drugged and then abused in 1982, which falls in line with the timeline Cosby's other alleged victims have given.
But as far as Cosby's concerned? His lawyer released a statement on Sunday, denying the accusations:
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
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