ENTERTAINMENT

Gloria Allred Sues After Being Barred From Bill Cosby Show

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Attorney Gloria Allred on Wednesday sued authorities in an Atlanta, Georgia suburb for denying her and other protesters access to a Bill Cosby show.

Allred, who is representing Judy Huth in her lawsuit against the entertainer in Los Angeles Superior Court, filed a federal lawsuit against Cobb County., Ga. and the operators of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, alleging violation of her free speech and due process rights.

More than 40 women have come forward with sexual assault claims against the comedian dating back to the mid-1960s. Allred is representing 28 of the women.

The attorney says that she was at the Saturday, May 2 show to talk to protesters, had a valid ticket for entry, and had no intention of disrupting Cosby's performance.

When she presented her ticket at the venue, a Cobb County police officer told her that she had been placed on a list of banned individuals and that she would be arrested for trespass if she did not leave, the attorney says.

"Later as we investigated how this denial of my rights happened, I was appalled to discover evidence that I had been placed on a police 'security watch list,' that police 'intelligence' specifically reported on me by name and that a representative of Bill Cosby was communicating with police by email about what Cosby's representative called 'agitators,'" Allred said in a prepared statement.

The attorney, who is seeking a court order that prohibits the venue's "censorship policy on admissions," said the "case is important to all protesters."

"Performers should not be able to commandeer a police force (as Bill Cosby's representatives appeared to do) in order to exclude individuals from the performance because they have a different viewpoint than the performer has," Allred said.

Tickets to see the comedian at the 2,750 capacity venue were priced at $59.75 and $79.75 plus fees, according to the venue's website.

Atlanta civil rights attorney Cary Wiggins is representing Allred in a lawsuit that also names as defendants the venue's operators Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and managing director Michael Taormina.

Cosby is not a party to the lawsuit. His attorney Christopher Tayback declined to comment and directed inquiries to Washington lawyer Monique Pressley, who also declined to comment.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center and Cobb County did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

This story was originally published by Courthouse News.

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