Monday 19 March 2018

Playboy publisher named in Bill Cosby lawsuit

Hugh Hefner, owner of 'Playboy' Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
Hugh Hefner, owner of 'Playboy' Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Robert Tait

Hugh Hefner, the owner of 'Playboy' magazine, has been accused of conspiring with Bill Cosby to enable the comedian to sexually molest a woman at a party at his mansion.

The 90-year-old publisher has been named as Cosby's co-defendant in a civil action taken out by Chloe Goins, 26, who is alleging sexual battery, gender violence and emotional distress resulting from an assault that she alleges took place at Hefner's Beverly Hills Playboy mansion in 2008.

The action alleges Hefner "encouraged, aided and ratified" the assault by inviting her to the party along with Cosby - his long-term friend - whom he knew had a "propensity" for intoxicating young women and sexually taking advantage of them.

Ms Goins, a model, claims she went to a party at the Playboy mansion when she was 18 and met Hefner, who introduced her to Cosby, who gave her a drink, which she believes was deliberately spiked, making her feel ill. The two men saw that she was "woozy", according to a suit filed at California superior court by Ms Goins's lawyers, and Hefner suggested she go and lie down in a bedroom.

Ms Goins did so and fell unconscious. She woke up to find herself naked and with Cosby, his trousers at his ankles, biting her toes, the suit alleges. She felt a wet substance on her breasts, as if someone had been licking them, it adds. At that point, Cosby left the room.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles this year declined to press charges on similar allegations that named only Cosby as a defendant, citing lack of evidence.

The latest suit goes further than the previous action by identifying Hefner as an alleged conspirator.

More than 50 women have come forward to say they were subjected to sexual assaults by Cosby over several decades.

Irish Independent

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