A topless protester screamed “Women’s Lives Matter” and “Bill Cosby Is A Rapist” outside a courthouse on Monday before the comedian’s sexual assault trial.
Cosby’s first trial ended 10 months ago in a deadlocked jury, but the retrial is different since the judge is allowing 5 different women to present their stories of how Cosby “allegedly” drugged and raped them.
The woman got within a few feet of Cosby before being tackled by police and dragged out of a bush. She had Women’s Lives Matter and the names of Cosby’s “alleged” victims written on her body. The woman’s been identified as 39-year-old Nicolle Rochelle.
As an actress, she appeared on Clarissa Explains It All, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue. In the early 1990s, she appeared in four episodes of The Cosby Show as Davina and Danielle under the name Nicole Leach. And in 2016 she appeared in a music video for artists Bart & Baker titled: “Why Does Love Always End Up In Tears.”
Within a few seconds of taking off her shirt, she was removed from the area and charged with disorderly conduct. Afterward, she told the Associated Press: "The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women and to show him that the body can be aggressive and empowered.”
She also told reporters she did not have any bad experiences personally with Cosby, while she was on the show. According to activist Inna Shevchenko, Rochelle is part of the group FEMEN, which participated in the protest. FEMEN, a European feminist group, has staged similar topless protests around the world.
The National Organization for Women also organized a protest outside the courthouse. New York NOW president Sonia Ossorio said: “We are here to stand up for Cosby’s 57 victims and to educate the public about the realities of gender-based violence. How does a man get away with sexually abusing and raping nearly 60 women before being held accountable? We are here to set the tone, and send a message that the era of impunity ends now.”
Opening statements in the trial were due to start yesterday, but they were delayed after a juror told someone she believed Cosby to be guilty. Cosby’s lawyers are asking for that juror to be dismissed.
Cosby is 80 years old, and faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, for which he faces 10 years in prison each.
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