Five women who previously accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault have filed new lawsuits against the comedian, according to a 34-page complaint filed on Dec. 5 in New York’s Supreme Court.
Eden Tirl, Jewel Gittens, Jennifer Thompson, Lili Bernard and Cindra Ladd are the alleged victims named in the suit. They accuse Cosby of “sexual assault, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress,” and more, noting his alleged predilection for drugging, raping and sexually molesting multiple women over the span of many years.
The women say the incidents occurred between the late ’60s and the 1990s, some on the set of The Cosby Show. (Tirl and Bernard are actresses who appeared on the show.)
In addition to Cosby himself, the new lawsuit targets three entertainment studios that worked with him on The Cosby Show: NBCUniversal, Kaufman Astoria Studios and the Carsey-Werner Company.
The complaint calls the companies and their respective staffs “enablers” of the comedian, and accuses them of negligence for failing to intervene while Cosby allegedly abused a string of women on the set of the show. The companies “[failed] to protect the women involved in The Cosby Show,” the complaint claims.
“We brought the claims against the three corporate entities because they all knew what was happening,” the alleged victims’ lawyer, Jordan Rutsky, tells PEOPLE. “Still [these companies] did not stop Bill Cosby from abusing women and abusing his power. He used their facilities and their staff to get access to … these women.”
Rutsky names Tirl’s claims as particularly demonstrative of how the studios may have abetted Cosby’s alleged crimes. “Eden Tirl actually sought help from people at ‘The Cosby Show,'” Rutsky says to PEOPLE. “She was repeatedly asked to have lunch with Cosby in his dressing room [but didn’t want to go]. She was repeatedly told, ‘Just go! Just go have lunch with him],” Rutsky says. (In the complaint, this is described as happening on at least four separate occasions.)
More than 60 women have accused the disgraced actor of drugging and sexually assaulting them over the years. In 2021, Cosby was exonerated of a previous sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania and released from prison. He is currently a free man.
Rutsky says his clients brought the suit now because of New York’s recently passed Adult Survivors Act, which creates a one-year window for adult victims to file claims addressing older sexual crimes that surpassed the previous Statute of Limitations. The one-year window for new claims began on Thanksgiving, and will end next Thanksgiving.
Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, called the new complaint “a frivolous civil lawsuit” and told Deadline, “…This isn’t about justice for victims of alleged sexual assault, it’s all about money.” Wyatt could not be immediately reached by PEOPLE.
“The goal now is for accountability,” Rutsky says. “That’s what this case is about. We felt it important to find some sort of justice.”