A topless protester was taken into police custody outside a Pennsylvania courthouse before the retrial of U.S. comedian Bill Cosby was due to start on Monday.
The woman jumped over a barricade and towards 80-year-old Cosby and shouted “rapist” at the actor as he entered court to stand trial on sexual assault charges for the second time.
She also had the word “rapist” written in red on her body.
The protester was quickly intercepted by police, while Cosby turned around and waited in his car until the commotion was over.
Cosby is charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.
Legal proceedings against Cosby last year ended with a mistrial after the jury was unable to agree on a verdict.
The comedian faces a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty in the retrial.
Cosby, a household name in the U.S., has hired a new legal team for the retrial, including Tom Mesereau, who is best-known for his part in Michael Jackson’s acquittal on child molestation charges in 2005.
No fewer than 50 women have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby of drugging and raping them, but the trial is focused solely on accusations from Constand, a former employee at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby’s alma mater.
She alleges that Cosby gave her pills and sexually assaulted her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.
The African-American actor started his career as a stand-up comic in the 1960s.
His biggest success was the television sitcom “The Cosby Show,” which ran from 1984 to 1992, in which he played obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, the wise and loveable patriarch of an affluent black family in New York. (dpa/NAN)