Nicole Rochelle, who appeared as a child actor on several episodes of The Cosby Show, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct today after she jumped a barrier as Bill Cosby entered the Montgomery County courthouse for the first day of his sexual assault retrial in Pennsylvania.
Rochelle, 39, was protesting topless outside the courthouse, and when Cosby neared the entry a little before 9 AM ET she leaped over a short barricade in front of him and a throng of cameras and began shouting. The comedian reacted with a confused scowl before security apprehended Rochelle, whose body was covered with writing including “Women’s Lives Matter” as well as the names of dozens of Cosby accusers.
Rochelle said she wanted to express her anger at Cosby over his alleged conduct.
“The main goal was to make Cosby uncomfortable because that is exactly what he has been doing for decades to women,” Rochelle, an actress who played Rudy Huxtable’s fried Davina on several episodes of Cosby Show in the early 1990s, told a group of reporters over the phone.
“I had a great experience on the show so I was very hurt by the fact that he did this for so many years,” she said. “It felt personal to me.”
Rochelle, who attended Brown University and has TV credits including Law & Order and Chappelle’s Show, was briefly taken into custody. The disorderly conduct charge is punishable by fine. She had been planning on attending other protests during the trial, but the Montgomery County authorities recommend she stay away from the courthouse.
“At this point,” she said, “I think that’s probably a good idea.”
Opening statements are still scheduled to begin today in the case the Cosby criminal trial for the alleged sexual assault of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.