Lili Bernard has made headlines after filing a lawsuit against Bill Cosby accusing him of assault after meeting on The Cosby Show – who was her character Mrs Minifield?
According to court documents obtained by CNN, Lili Bernard has accused Cosby of assaulting her while she was involuntarily intoxicated in or around August 1990 in the Trump Taj Mahal casino resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Bernard said the two met in July 1990, when she claims Cosby offered to be her acting mentor. According to her, the August meet-up was meant to connect her with a producer for more job opportunities.
Bernard’s accusations come hot on the heels of a court ruling in Cosby’s favour earlier this summer. In June 2021, the actor was released after Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out his sexual assault conviction and released him from prison after serving nearly three years of a ten-year sentence for charges of drugging and violating Temple University sports administrator Andrea Constand in 2004.
Bernard said of her own lawsuit: “I have waited a long time to be able to pursue my case in court and I look forward to being heard and to hold Cosby accountable for what he did to me.”
The actress portrayed Mrs Minifield on The Cosby Show in 1992 after the incident, which she alleges took place in 1990.
Who was Mrs Minifield?
Mrs Minifield featured in season 8, episode 15 entitled Bring Me The Lip Gloss Of Deirdre Arpelle.
She was a heavily pregnant woman who constantly pestered Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, with pregnancy questions.
Despite having an 11am appointment, Minifield shows up to the Huxtable’s at 8.30am and, when the he advises her to only call him when contractions are eight minutes apart, she interprets it as calling him every eight minutes.
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Lili Bernard: age and career
The 57-year-old describes herself as “Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based visual artist, actor, activist and mom.” Bernard’s latest role was as Abi in 2020 short film The Centre Cannot Hold. The majority of her other credits are as herself in Cosby documentaries.
However, she also appeared as Anna in Seinfeld in 1994.
Bernard is of mixed African, Caribbean, European and Chinese descent. Her grandmother is Chinese-Jamaican, while her great-grandfather was Chinese.
She is married to civil rights attorney Franklin L Ferguson Jr and together they welcomed six children in a ten-year span. The couple have five sons – Isiah, Josh, Rafael, Uriel and Elias, a rapper who works under the name H.E.Z.Y – and daughter Zion.
Now working as a multi-disciplinary artist, Bernard’s work addresses trauma, sexism and racism, as per her website. Having held solo exhibitions across the US, Bernard has won at least nine awards between 2014 and 2017, including the Otis Outstanding Contribution Award.
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