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April 10, 2018

Topless protester outside Bill Cosby’s retrial is a ‘Cosby Show’ alum

Bill Cosby’s sex-assault retrial began with chaos Monday in Norristown as a topless protester jumped a barricade outside the Montgomery County courthouse and made it just a few feet from the comedian.

The woman, 39-year-old Nicolle Rochelle, was reported chanting, “Women’s lives matter,” with the same words written on her bare chest and back. She had also written on her body the names of 50 of Cosby's accusers. She was later charged with disorderly conduct.

Rochelle, a resident of Little Falls, N.J., turns out to be an alum to one of Cosby’s biggest claims to fame, “The Cosby Show,” appearing on four episodes of the sitcom from 1990 to 1992.

In a public statement, Rochelle addressed her actions and relationship to Cosby, saying she didn’t have any bad experiences with him while on the show, NBC10 reported.

“I wanted him to not be comfortable, in the very least,” she said to NBC10. “I don’t think it was fair that these women are now uncomfortable for the rest of their lives.”

She went on to describe Cosby as a “father figure” when she was in the cast.

“So you could imagine when I found out these allegations later on, it definitely hit home to some degree.”

Before the incident Monday, Rochelle shared a public Facebook post of herself photographed outside the house used for exterior shots on the “Cosby Show” with the caption, “Let’s hope justice will finally be served!”

Rochelle's protest wasn't the only unpredictable event before the trial could begin. Proceedings were stalled Monday after the prosecution asked for one juror, No. 11, to be removed for allegedly showing bias against Cosby in a private conversation with another juror. 

In a meeting that lasted for more than three hours, trial Judge Steven O’Neill announced around 2 p.m. Monday that all jurors, including the one in question, would be sworn in, Vulture reported.