Former Cosby Show actress Nicolle Rochelle lunged while topless at comedian Bill Cosby as he arrived at the Montgomery County Courthouse Monday for his sexual assault trial, according to The Washington Post.
The 39-year-old actress had the names of Cosby’s accusers painted on her torso, as well as the words “rapist” and “Women’s Lives Matter” painted in red on her body.
Cosby, 80, is being retried in suburban Philadelphia for drugging and raping Andrea Constand while she was unconscious in 2004. Constand is the former operations director of Temple University’s women’s basketball team.
Cosby is a Temple University alumnus and served on the Board of Trustees. Constand testified that she looked up to Cosby, saying she saw him as “somebody I trusted. A mentor.” The jury in Cosby’s first trial was unable to reach an unanimous verdict, prompting a mistrial. District Attorney Kevin Steele revealed Monday that Cosby paid Constand $3.4 million hush money in 2006, according to ABC News.
Authorities apprehended Rochelle before she could reach Cosby around 8:30 a.m. outside the Montgomery County Courthouse. Also painted on Rochelle’s body was the name of the global feminist group Femen. The group’s leader Inna Shevchenko told reporters that the protest was Femen’s contribution to the #metoo movement.
Femen is known for protesting while topless against misogyny and patriarchy. The New York Times reported that two members of the group protested against filmmaker Woody Allen while topless in Germany last year. Allen was performing at a Jazz concert when the women attempted to rush the stage, protesting over accusations that he sexually abused his daughter. Allen called the protest stupid.
Rochelle jumped a barricade to rush Cosby in her bare-breasted protest, but authorities reached her first. Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt thanked the sheriff’s deputies for stopping the actress.
Wyatt told reporters that he was walking with Cosby when he saw Rochelle emerge as she screamed, “He raped me!,” referring to Cosby. He told reporters that the actress is just looking for attention, saying about Rochelle, “You never know who’s going to want to make a name for themselves.” Rochelle played a friend of Rudy Huxtable, the character played by Keisha Knight-Pulliam on several episodes of The Cosby Show. Rochelle was charged with disorderly conduct.
It was unclear how closely Cosby and Rochelle worked during her stint on the Cosby show. She appeared on the show from 1990-1992.