Actor Bill Cosby in March 2014. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- In the six weeks since a comedian called Bill Cosby a rapist during a standup routine, accusations against the 77-year-old comedian have snowballed.
At least 22 women have publicly accused Cosby of assault, rape or attempted assault. The stories are frequently similar: Many of the women describe being drawn into Cosby's orbit promises of show business stardom, say they were handed pills or spiked drinks and that Cosby attacked them while they were drugged.
The claims stretch the length of Cosby's storied career, from 1965 through 2004, and Cosby's attorneys have repeatedly denied the allegations that have come to light in recent weeks.
But Sunday, a former NBC employee came forward to claim he had often stood guard when Cosby invited models to his Cosby Show dressing room and delivered payments to keep them quiet.
Frank Scotti, now 90, says he delivered up to $2,000 a month to eight different women in 1989 and 1990, including Shawn Thompson -- with whom Cosby had an affair -- who claims the comedian fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson.
"He had everybody fooled," Scotti told the New York Daily News. "Nobody suspected."
Scotti said he felt compelled to speak out on the numerous allegations that have surfaced against his old friend, saying that he "felt sorry for the women."
"I was suspicious that something was going on," he said. "I suspected that he was having sex with them because the other person he was sending money to [Thompson], he was definitely having sex with."
Thompson and Cosby had an affair in 1974, and he has paid out more than $100,000 to her over the years, even while denying he fathered her daughter.
Scotti also said Cosby had an arrangement with a modeling agency in Manhattan. The agency owner would bring young, aspiring models to his dressing room, and once Cosby made his pick, would disappear with the others.
"The owner just walked right out," Scotti recalled. "She knew exactly what was going to go on. Then [Cosby would] tell me, 'Stand outside the door and don't let anyone in.' Now you put that together."
Cosby's womanizing activities were something of an open secret, with some of the accusations against him public knowledge since 2000. As the story grabbed national attention, many in the media who were aware of his alleged behavior have since come forward to apologize for keeping quiet, including the New York Times' David Carr and the Atlantic's Ta Nehisi Coates.
Mark Whitaker, whose 2014 biography, Cosby: His Life and Times was heavily criticized for ignoring the allegations against its subject, apologized on Twitter Monday for the omission.
"I was wrong not to deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively," he said, responding to Carr's column. "I am following new developments and will address them at the appropriate time. If true, the stories are shocking and horrible."
The following, in chronological order of the alleged assault, are the women who have publicly accused Cosby:
Kristina Ruehli -- 1965
Kristina Ruehli, 71, met Cosby when she was 22 and he came into Artists Agency Corp., the talent agency where she worked. Ruehli said she was invited a party at Cosby's house, but when she arrived, she was the only guest there.
"He must have drugged me," she described to Philadelphia Magazine. "There is just one point at which I was having a drink and feeling normal and the next I was somehow passed out completely. He must have slipped something into my drink. It's the only way to go lights-out like that."
Ruehli said she remembers waking up in Cosby's bed. His shirt was off and pants were unzipped, and she said he tried to force her to perform oral sex. She recalls getting sick, then managing to drive herself home.
She never saw Cosby again in person, but agreed to testify as one of 13 Jane Does when Temple University employee Andrea Constand sued Cosby in 2005.
Carla Ferrigno -- 1967
Now an actress and the wife of Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno, Carla Ferrigno was working as a Playboy Bunny in 1967 when she was approached by a man at Los Angeles Airport, who took her out on a date, then to meet Cosby.
She remembers the group going out the movies, but when they returned to Cosby's house, she and the comedian were left alone, playing pool.
"He came at me and grabbed me in such a powerful way," she told the Daily Mail.. "Grabbing me. He was much bigger than me. Much bigger and he pulled me so hard and so rough. I had never been treated so roughly and he pulled me hard to him so hard. And then kissed me so hard, right in the mouth. No one has ever been that physically violent with me."
Ferrigno came forward for the first time on Nov. 20 after hearing other women's accusations.
Joan Tarshis -- 1969
Music industry publicist Joan Tarshis was an aspiring writer in 1969, when she was 19. On Nov. 16, Tarshis, now 66, became the first new accuser to come forward with tales of Cosby's abuse.
Revealing her story for the first time to Jeff Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere, Tarshis said she visited the set of The Cosby Show several times. She recalls being given a drink that she now believes was drugged.
"The next thing I remember was coming to on his couch while being undressed," she said. "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."
Several weeks later, Cosby called her house and spoke with Tarshis' mother and inviting Tarshis to the theater. Unable to admit to her mother what happened, Tarshis felt corned into going. In the limo, she says, he plied her with alcohol and recalled seeing bottles full of pills. After the show, she remembers waking up naked in Cosby's hotel bed.
"But during those years as I grew into adulthood, I watched Cosby be praised by everyone from presidents to Oprah to the Jello Corporation," she said. "It all made me ill, knowing first-hand there was something unbalanced about him."
Linda Traitz -- 1970
Linda Joy Traitz was a 19-year-old waitress at the Café Figaro, the Los Angeles Cosby restaurant partly owned. She remembers the star coming into the restaurant from time to time while she worked.
"One day he offered me a ride home," she wrote on Facebook. "I accepted."
Instead of taking her home, Traitz said Cosby drove to the beach, then tried to give her pills.
He "opened a briefcase filled with assorted drugs and kept offering me pills 'to relax,' which I declined. He began to get sexually aggressive and wouldn't take 'No' for an answer," she said. "I freaked out and demanded to be taken home."
She told the Washington Post Cosby chased her down the beach, tearing her skirt. Before he took her home, he bought her a new skirt
At the time, Traitz told family and co-workers what had happened, but declined to go to the police. Now 63, she said she "felt compelled to speak out."
Victoria Valentino and Meg Foster -- 1970
Victoria Valentino was picked as a Playboy Bunny for the opening of the original Playboy Club on the Sunset Strip in 1963. Valentino's six-year-old son drowned in 1969, and in an effort to cheer her up, fellow Bunny Francesca Emerson offered to take her to meet her friend, Bill Cosby.
Emerson introduced Valentino to Cosby at Cafe Figaro in January 1970, and he later invited the two women, along with Valentino's aspiring actress roommate Meg Foster, to a spa and dinner.
"He was trying to cheer me up, and he stuck a pill in my mouth," Valentino said, recalling a dinner at Sneaky Pete's. "He said, 'This will make us all feel better.' "
Cosby and Foster also each took a pill. Cosby said he would take them home, but instead took them to his apartment. She said she saw Cosby moving to assault an unconscious Foster and intervened.
"He came over to me and sat down on the love seat and opened his fly and grabbed my head and pushed my head down," she said. "It was like a waking nightmare."
Valentino, now 71, said she was too embarrassed to tell most of her friends and thought going to the police would only make things worse. She did tell Emerson, and in 1996, spoke about the alleged assault to another former Playmate, Charlotte Kemp. Kemp taped the interview as part of her research for a book, Centerfold Memories, which is due out in February.
Louisa Moritz -- 1971
Louisa Moritz, now 68, was the star of the show Love American Style and played Rose in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. She told TMZ on Nov. 20 she was attacked while waiting to appear on Johnny Carson's show at NBC's New York studios in 1971.
She said Cosby walked into her green room, telling her how impressed he was with her work and "implied that he was going to see to it that I will become a major star through his direction."
Cosby, Moritz said, "took out his penis, which was now in line with my face, and pressed up against it."
"He took his hands and put them on the back of my head and forced his penis in my mouth, saying, 'Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.'"
Moritz has never spoken about the incident until now. While the statue of limitations has run out, she told TMZ she plans to file a civil suit.
Helen Hayes -- 1973
Northern California resident Helen Hayes came forward in a press conference with Gloria Allred on Dec. 3, 2014. She accused Cosby of following her and her friends around at a restaurant in 1973, and grabbed her breast.
"His behavior was like that of a predator," Hayes said.
Judy Huth -- 1974
Now 55, Judy Huth became the first woman to accuse Cosby of molesting her while she was still a minor when she filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday.
Huth says she and a friend met Cosby at Lacy Park in San Marino, Calif., when she was just 15 years old. She said Cosby invited the girls to his tennis club, where he gave them alcohol, then brought them to the Playboy Mansion, telling the girls to say they were 19.
"While at the Playboy Mansion, plaintiff told Cosby that she needed to use the bathroom. Cosby directed her to a bathroom within a bedroom suite near the game room," the lawsuit reads. "When plaintiff emerged from the bathroom, she found Cosby sitting on the bed. He asked her to sit beside him. He then proceeded to sexually molest her by attempting to put his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent."
Huth is seeking unspecified damages for sexual battery and emotional distress.
Therese Serignese -- 1976
Therese Serignese, 57, met Cosby in 1976, at the age of 19, when she and her sister were staying at the Las Vegas Hilton.
"Somebody came up to me and put their arm around my neck from the back and said: 'Will you marry me?'" she told the Huffington Post on Nov. 20. "And I turned around to see who it was, and it was Bill Cosby."
He invited her to attend his show, and had her escorted to the green room where Cosby handed her two white pills and a glass of water.
"The next memory I have was I was in a bathroom and I was kind of bending forward and he was behind me having sex with me," she said. "I was just there, thinking 'I'm on drugs, I'm drugged.' I felt drugged and I was being raped and it was kind of surreal. My frame of mind was that it would be over soon and I could just get out of there."
Serignese said her mother encouraged her to stay in touch with Cosby, and he put her up in the penthouse at the Hilton for three weeks. She claims he threw her out after she had a pregnancy scare, but they remained in occasional contact over the next 20 years.
She said there was at least one other sexual encounter, in 1985, and two payments after she was in a car accident in 1996.
In 2005, when she heard about Andrea Constand's lawsuit, she decided to call the Philadelphia police department and join the case. She was one of the 13 Jane Does who agreed to testify in the 2005 case, which was ultimately settled out of court.
Tamara Green -- 1970s
Lawyer Tamara Green came forward with accusations against Cosby in 2005, as Andrea Constand was suing the comedian. Green, now 66, said she was at a working lunch with Cosby and others at a restaurant in Los Angeles when he drugged her. She had the flu, and he offered her what he said was cold medicine.
In a Feb. 10, 2005, interview on Today, Green said the drugs made her "very, very stoned" and Cosby offered to take her home.
"He took me into my apartment and then very helpfully and nicely was prepared to take off my clothes and help me into bed and pet me, and that's how the actual assault began," she said. "The center of my being understood that he had gone from helping me to groping me and kissing me and touching me and handling me and you know, taking off my clothes."
Green was the only witness in the 2005 lawsuit who had agreed to be named, but was never able to testify in court.
Joyce Emmons -- late 1970s
Joyce Emmons ran a comedy club in Newport Beach, Calif., in the 1970s and 80s, which put her in the same circle as Cosby.
On Nov. 22, she told TMZ Cosby had "a drawer full of drugs" in a Las Vegas hotel room. She said she never saw Cosby partake, but many of the men and women who partied with him did so voluntarily.
Emmons said Cosby offered her a white pill he said would cure her migraine, but instead knocked her out. She woke up naked in bed in Cosby's suite, and one of his friends, whom she had previously rejected, was with her.
When she confronted Cosby about the pill, Emmons said the comedian told her it was "just a Quaalude," a party pill.
"The brand new claims about decade-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous," Cosby attorney Marty Singer told TMZ, in response to Emmons' claims.
Renita Chaney Hill -- 1982-86
Renita Chaney Hill was a 15-year-old child actress when she met Cosby in Pittsburgh. Cosby hired her for his Picture Pages educational segments, promising her a bright future as a model and actress.
Over the next four years, Cosby would fly Hill around the country for work, and she would be expected to come to his hotel room at night, she told KDKA. Even though she was underage, Hill said Cosby gave her drinks and, she now believes, drugs.
"One time, I remember just before I passed out, I remember him kissing and touching me and I remember the taste of his cigar on his breath, and I didn't like it," she said. "I remember another time when I woke up in my bed the next day and he was leaving, he mentioned you should probably lose a little weight. I thought that odd, how would he know that? I always thought it was odd that after I had this drink I would end up in my bed the next morning and I wouldn't remember anything."
Hill said she doesn't know if she was raped because she so frequently passed out. By the time she was 19, Hill cut off contact with the comedian, even though he was paying her college tuition.
"It was just a horrifying feeling thinking that as a part of your dream you felt like this was something you had to endure," Hill said. "And that's why I couldn't do it anymore, and I just walked away."
Janice Dickinson -- 1982
When supermodel Janice Dickinson was 27, Cosby invited her to visit him in Lake Tahoe, ostensibly to discuss work and her singing career.
On Nov. 18, Dickinson told Entertainment Tonight Cosby gave her wine and a pill -- then raped her.
"The next morning I woke up and I wasn't wearing my pajamas," she said. "And I remembered before I passed out that I had been sexually assaulted by this man."
"Before I woke up in the morning, the last thing I remember was Bill Cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me," she recalled. "And I remember a lot of pain. The next morning I remember waking up with my pajamas off and there was semen in between my legs."
Dickinson, 59, said she tried to open up about the incident before, while writing her 2002 autobiography, but Cosby's lawyers pressured her to cut the passage.
Beth Ferrier -- 1984
Beth Ferrier was one of 13 Jane Doe accusers prepared to testify in the 2005 lawsuit against Cosby. In 1984, the model ended a months-long consensual affair with Cosby, but went to visit him before a performance in Denver.
In 2005, Ferrier told the Philadelphia Daily News Cosby drugged her coffee and she passed out, waking up several hours later with no memory of what had happened.
"I woke up and I was in the back of my car all alone," she said. "My clothes were a mess. My bra was undone. My top was untucked. And I'm sitting there going, 'Oh my God. Where am I?' What's going on? I was so out of it. It was just awful."
Ferrier, 55, told no one about the incident until she heard about Constand's lawsuit, and decided to reach out to the National Enquirer, which had published Constand's allegations. Ferrier passed a lie detector test, but the Enquirer never published her story, allegedly killing it under pressure from Cosby's attorneys -- and in exchange for an exclusive interview with Cosby.
Barbara Bowman -- 1985
Barbara Bowman was an aspiring actress when she met Cosby in 1985 at just the age of 17.
Bowman first came forward as one of the Jane Does in the 2005 lawsuit in a June 2006 Philadelphia Magazine cover story, titled "Dr. Huxtable & Mr. Hyde."
And in November 2006, she told People Cosby had treated her oddly, asking her to pretend to be drunk or drugged, but at first didn't harm her. But in a Reno hotel room in 1986, Bowman said he took her hand and forced her to masturbate him. Over the next several months, she said Cosby drugged and assaulted her several other times.
At the time, Bowman said she was terrified into silence, trying to rationalize his behavior as "part of the deal" for him making her a star.
"The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had traveled for an industry event," she said. "I was staying in a separate bedroom of Cosby's hotel suite, but he pinned me down in his own bed while I screamed for help. I'll never forget the clinking of his belt buckle as he struggled to pull his pants off. I furiously tried to wrestle from his grasp until he eventually gave up, angrily called me 'a baby' and sent me home to Denver."
Bowman has been among the most vocal of Cosby's accusers since the lawsuit settled. After allegations against Cosby resurfaced this fall, Bowman penned an essay for the Washington Post wondering why it took so long for the public to finally believe her story, and those of more than a dozen women who had already accused Cosby of assault.
Chelan -- 1986
A woman identified only as Chelan came forward at the Dec. 3, 2014 press conference with attorney Gloria Allred. Chelan said she was 17 at the time she met Cosby, in 1986.
She said Cosby gave her a blue pill and an amaretto in a hotel room and she passed out with Cosby on the bed beside her. When she woke up, Cosby gave her $1,500.
Jena T. -- 1987
Jena T., who was one of the Jane Does in the 2005 lawsuit, came forward to People in 2005, only allowing the magazine to publish her picture and her first name for the first time on Nov. 25. She described a series of encounters with Cosby in the late 1980s in which he promised her parents he would help her career as a model.
He convinced her parents to let her move to New York to pursue her career, even inviting the family to dinner in his home. But once she had settled in, se said Cosby's attentions turned from paternal to something else.
Jena said she put him off as best as she could, eventually deciding to leave New York. She says she went to Cosby's house on the advice of Dr. Alvin Poussaint, a psychiatrist who consulted with The Cosby Show.
"I'm sure he fixed something to drink. He knew that I was ready to submit. The whole thing was like -- I just knew that I gave him a hand job," she said. "I'm like a robot, and that is what I became, and that is what I did for him."
Before she left, she says, Cosby gave her $700.
"I tried my best to muster a sort of, 'I am an adult making this decision.' Did I really feel that way? 'No.' "
Jewel Allison -- late 1980s
Model Jewel Allison said she was encouraged by her agent to attend a dinner party at Cosby's Manhattan home in the late 1980s, she told the New York Daily News on Nov. 24. The party ended up being just the two of them, and after Cosby poured her a glass of vintage wine -- she said it tasted awful -- she immediately began to feel woozy.
She said Cosby carried her into another room, then pulled her hand onto his genitals.
"That was my sexual assault by this comedian," she said. "He turned me around and said, 'Let's get you home.' At the door, he gave me a very hard embrace and a hard kiss."
Allison said she declined a later invitation to spend the night at his suburban Philadelphia home.
"We may be looking at America's greatest serial rapist that ever got away with this for the longest amount of time," Allison said. "He got away with it because he was hiding behind the image of Cliff Huxtable."
Angela Leslie -- 1992
Actress and model Angela Leslie, 52, told the New York Daily News on Nov. 21 that Cosby assaulted her in 1992 at a hotel in Las Vegas.
Leslie said she sent Cosby a letter and photograph, and he invited her to come see him, asking her to "audition."
"If you want to act, show me what you've got," Leslie recalled him saying. "Pretend you're intoxicated."
Cosby poured her a drink -- Leslie said she sipped it and put it down -- then followed his orders to go into the bathroom and wet her hair.
"I walked back out, and he had removed his clothing and gotten into bed," she said, describing how he poured lotion into her hand and "with his hand on top of mine... he masturbated with my hand."
"I wasn't pulling back. I was in shock."
Having heard the stories of Cosby's other alleged victims, Leslie said she now thinks the cocktail was drugged, and Cosby kicked her out of the hotel room when she didn't pass out.
Michelle Hurd -- 1995
Actress Michelle Hurd, 47, is known for her roles on Law & Order: SVU and 90210. On Nov. 21, Hurd accused Cosby of inappropriate behavior when she did an episode of The Cosby Mysteries in 1995.
"It started innocently, lunch in his dressing room, daily, then onto weird acting exercises were he would move his hands up and down my body, (can't believe I fell for that)," she wrote on Facebook. "I was instructed to NEVER tell anyone what we did together, (he said other actors would become jealous) and then fortunately, I dodged the ultimate bullet with him when he asked me to come to his house, take a shower so we could blow dry my hair and see what it looked like straightened."
Hurd refused to go to Cosby's house, and said the comedian transferred his attentions to another stand-in actress.
"She did go to his house and because I will not name her, and it is her story to tell, all I'll say is she awoke, after being drugged, vomited, and then Cosby told her there's a cab waiting for you outside," Hurd wrote.
Lachele Covington -- 2000
An actress who appeared on Cosby on CBS, Lachele Covington, became the comedian's first accuser in March 2000.
Covington, then 20, said Cosby put her hand under his shirt and pulled it down during a dinner at his Manhattan townhouse. Under the guise of career advice and helping her relax, Cosby came around behind Covington and began rubbing her head. She said he slid his hands down her arms and to her buttocks, then moved her to the couch, when he tried to pull her hand into his pants.
She pulled her hand away and took a complaint to the Manhattan district attorney's office, where she was told no crime had been committed because her actions, up to the moment she yanked her hand back -- had been consensual.
Covington filed a police report three days later, but Cosby was never questioned nor charged.
"The story is not true. It did not happen," his spokesman, David Brokaw, said at the time. "Mr. Cosby was not contacted by the police and the first he learned about this was from the National Enquirer."
Andrea Constand -- 2004
Andrea Constand said she met Cosby, a major donor to Temple University, in November 2002. Then director of operations for the women's basketball program, Constand described Cosby as "a mentor" -- up until she claims he drugged and sexually assaulted her at his home in Philadelphia.
She alleges Cosby gave her three blue pills, calling them an herbal remedy. After she began to feel woozy, he began rubbing her breasts and genital area, then "digitally penetrated her," according to the complaint filed in a civil lawsuit in March 2005.
Constand eventually settled the suit for an undisclosed amount over $150,000, and none of the 13 Jane Does who had agreed to testify ever were able to do so in court, nor did they share in the settlement.
A former Pennsylvania district attorney Bruce Castor, who declined to charge Cosby with sexual assault, said earlier this month that he believed Cosby's accusers, he just didn't think he could prove the charges.
"At the time I remember thinking that he probably did do something inappropriate," Castor said. "But thinking that and being able to prove it are two different things."