An actress who accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her twice as a minor in the 1960s has died aged 72 after battling lung cancer.
Sunni Welles, who started performing at the age of 10 and toured with Elvis Presley as a singer and dancer, died Monday in California, her son confirmed.
She joined dozens of women in 2015 to accuse TV star Cosby of sexual assault, whom she met when she was 17 when her mother was working on the set of the sitcom I Spy.
In a statement released by her lawyer, she claimed Cosby invited her to a famous Hollywood jazz club where she drank a coke before waking up naked and alone, feeling like she had had sex , but without any memory of the night.
Sunni Welles attends press conference in Los Angeles in 2015 with other alleged victims of Cosby
Bill Cosby outside his home in Elkins Park, Pa., After being released from jail in June
Welles said she got home and later called Cosby who told her she got drunk on champagne and took her to the apartment to sleep.
He denied that anything untoward had happened and young Welles believed him.
Cosby then invited her to another location, the Magic Castle, for dinner and to watch magic shows.
Welles said she was only drinking coke again but woke up in the same room as before, naked and alone.
She said: “This time I didn’t call him and I never heard from Bill Cosby again after that. I told my mom and she never spoke to her again either. He was a star. It was Bill Cosby and I buried it in my memory until all these brave women started to come forward.
In her statement, she addressed Cosby directly, saying, “If you’re a changed man, Bill, you should admit what you’ve done and at least show remorse for your sins!
“Bill Cosby, if you are the man you think you are, you should be ashamed of yourself and tell the truth. You owe at least that to your brave and brave victims!
Pennsylvania’s highest court dismissed Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault conviction in June in an astonishing fortuitous reversal that saw him released from prison.
The 83-year-old, once known as the ‘Father of America’, returns to his Philadelphia home after serving nearly three years for allegedly drugging and assaulting the Temple University sports administrator , Andrea Constand, in 2004.
His conviction was overturned because the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s promise not to prosecute Cosby.
Sunni Welles, second from right, playing with the Jeff Kutash Dancers at Walt Disney Studios in November 1978
Welles was renowned for her friendship with the King of Rock Presley with whom she toured the world as a singer and dancer.
She married singer and actor John O’Banion with whom she had a son, Shaun, before their divorce.
In the late 1990s, she retired as an actress to focus on jazz vocals with her band Shiver.
She then moved to Santa Monica, California, working as a spiritual medium until she was diagnosed with cancer.
Welles is survived by his son.