By Katherine Davis-Young
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three more women accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault on Wednesday, providing detailed allegations of abuse they said the veteran television star subjected them to decades ago.
Colleen Hughes and Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer said Cosby, 78, had sexually assaulted them in the early 1970s, while Eden Tirl said he sexually harassed her on "The Cosby Show" set in 1989.
The women were speaking at a press conference hosted by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 21 of the more than 40 women who have come forward in the past year accusing Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them.
New York Magazine interviewed and profiled 35 of Cosby's accusers in a July cover story that featured an empty chair next to the rows of women. The chair sparked questions on how many more women may have similar allegations against the comedian.
Ridgeway Whitedeer said Cosby forced her into a sex act in 1971 when she met him for an interview on a movie set. At the time, she said, she was an aspiring actress and had been married for a while to a television agent who also worked for the comedian.
"As undignified as this is, it is my turn to take the empty chair that I saw on the cover of the New York Magazine, because I was assaulted sitting in a chair on a job interview and I was not drugged," she said.
Representatives for Cosby did not respond for comment on Wednesday, and Cosby has never been charged.
Hughes, a former American Airlines flight attendant, said she encountered Cosby on a flight to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, and he accompanied her to her hotel. She said she lost consciousness for a few hours after drinking champagne with the comedian and confronted him about the incident a year later.
Tirl, a former model, said she was guest-starring as a police officer on "The Cosby Show" in 1989 when Cosby sexually harassed her in his dressing room.
Los Angeles police are currently conducting a criminal investigation into a complaint brought against Cosby, who has canceled TV projects and live shows due to the momentum of allegations.
Last month, Cosby lost a bid to fend off a lawsuit that accused him of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974. He will answer questions under oath at a deposition on Oct. 9.
(Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by David Gregorio)