NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Two more women, a writer and an actress, on Friday said comedian Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted them decades ago, bringing the list of his accusers to more than 40.
Actress Lili Bernard and writer Sammie Mays made the allegations against the comedian at a news conference with prominent lawyer Gloria Allred the day before the last show of Cosby's national comedy tour in Atlanta.
Cosby, best known for his role as Dr Cliff Huxtable on the hit TV series The Cosby Show, has never been charged over any of the allegations. The 77-year-old settled a 2005 civil lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct.
His representative did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. Cosby's attorney, Marty Singer, has previously dismissed similar allegations by other women as "discredited"and "defamatory."
Bernard said Cosby drugged, raped and threatened her while he helped her prepare for a role in the 1984-1992 show's last season. "After he had won my complete trust and admiration, he drugged and raped me," said the mother of six.
Bernard said she told her agent, family, several friends and her pastor about the attack. She later became suicidal and was hospitalised.
"I still suffer panic attacks and night terrors as a result of what Mr Cosby did to me," she said. "I stand here to take back my power and confront the fear that has paralysed me for so many years."
Bernard and Allred said they went to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where one of the alleged attacks occurred, on Thursday to report it to the police. New Jersey has no statute of limitations for rape.
The Atlantic City Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Sammie Mays said she was a writer at a television convention in New Orleans in 1986 when Cosby agreed to an interview. After accompanying him to his hotel room and accepting a drink, she said she woke up confused and partially undressed as Cosby stared down at her.
She said she quickly tried to compose herself, then left.
"Once in the lobby, I realised I had just survived an encounter with a scheming madman who hid his demons behind an alluring personality," she said.
Allred, who represents many of Cosby's accusers, said she will join a planned protest on Saturday at the Atlanta theatre where Cosby is scheduled to perform.