Three women who claim they were victimized by Bill Cosby came forward at a Wednesday afternoon press conference called by attorney Gloria Allred.
Each woman sobbed as they detailed their allegations against the comedian, including one woman who says she was 17 at the time the alleged abuse occurred, Reuters reports.
Allred proposed that Cosby waive the statute of limitations that protects him from decades-old allegations, so that the women could have their day in court.
"It could be advantageous for Mr. Cosby to give up the statute of limitations because there is a huge cloud on his reputation and legacy," Allred said. "The public deserves to know if Mr. Cosby is a saint or a sexual predator."
Two of the women, Helen Hayes and another who identified herself only as Chelan, have never spoken publicly before. The third, Beth Ferrier, said she was one of the several "Jane Does" prepared to testify in another woman's 2005 civil lawsuit claiming sexual assault by Cosby in Pennsylvania. That lawsuit was settled before it went to trial.
Allred would not say how she'd vetted the other two women's claims when asked by a reporter.
The press conference comes a day after a sexual battery lawsuit was filed by Judy Huth, a Southern California woman who claims the comedian molested her in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15 years old.
Huth's lawsuit states she became aware of the psychological damage the incident recently. Under California law, adult victims who suffered childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits within three years of when they discover the abuse caused significant psychological trauma.
In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing them. Cosby's attorney, Marty Singer, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday, though Cosby's attorneys previously have issued statements characterizing some of the claims as previously discredited and others as untrue.
Tweets sent from Cosby's official Twitter account on Monday and Tuesday thanked a pair of celebrity supporters, Whoopi Goldberg and singer Jill Scott.
Cosby, 77, has steadfastly refused to answer questions about the sex abuse allegations. Singer has denied some of the accusations and said several of the women accusing Cosby have been discredited, but none of the claims have been tested in court.
Since the most recent allegations arose, NBC has scrapped a Cosby comedy that was under development, TV Land stopped airing reruns of "The Cosby Show," and Netflix postponed a Cosby standup special. Numerous dates on Cosby's tour have been canceled, including two Saturday performances in Tarrytown, New York that were cancelled Wednesday after the promoter had earlier offered ticketholders refunds and nearly half bowed out of attending.
One North Carolina school removed the entertainer from an advisory board; another stopped awarding an online scholarship in Cosby's name. Cosby also resigned from Temple University's board of trustees on Monday, saying he "wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students."