A former fashion model and actress who appeared on one episode of The Cosby Show in 1988 is the latest of several women to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault and making unwanted sexual advances toward them.
Helen Gumpel, formerly known as Helen Selby, said Sunday that Cosby made sexual advances and lewd gestures toward her while she was on the set of the show.
She said she was called to the show’s set for what she thought was another audition shortly after filming the one episode in 1987. She said she was brought to Cosby’s dressing room and that Cosby had her sit on a couch and handed her a drink. She said Cosby then stood in front of her with his crotch in her face.
“I never thought of myself as a victim because I refused his advances,” Gumpel said. “But my career was a victim.”
Cosby’s lawyer, Marty Singer, did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment. The 77-year-old entertainer faces sexual assault accusations from at least 15 women. He denies the allegations and has never been charged with a crime.
Gumpel, who lives in Connecticut with her husband, made the allegations at a news conference she held at a downtown Boston hotel hours after Cosby canceled back-to-back comedy shows scheduled that evening at the nearby Wilbur Theater. Demonstrators had said they would protest outside the theater.
Cosby, who has a home in western Massachusetts, said in a statement that he canceled the shows because of winter weather forecasts. The New England forecast called for a winter storm with nearly 2 feet of snow in the Boston area through Tuesday.
Since the accusations emerged last year, some of Cosby’s performances elsewhere have drawn heckling and protests, and some have been canceled.
The Wilbur Theater announced on its website Sunday morning that the shows were canceled but did not say why. It apologized for the abrupt change and said tickets would be refunded.