The suit filed Monday in Los Angeles by Chloe Goins contends Hefner knew or should have known that Cosby had drugged and sexually abused women and enabled his behavior.
Goins, 26, claims Cosby spiked her drink when she attended a party at the Playboy Mansion sometime in 2008 and then abused her in a bedroom.
Goins’ suit says she doesn’t know the exact date of the incident. As a result, it’s unclear if she was a minor at the time.
The lawsuit says Goins does not remember specifics of the abuse and states that she awoke in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion with the comedian licking her toes and then pulling up his pants before leaving the room.
She did not immediately contact police because a friend advised against it, the suit states.
Her attorney, Spencer Kuvin, said Tuesday that he hopes to discover the exact date of the abuse now that Hefner is a defendant. The case was filed on Monday, when Goins was 25, to avoid missing a statute of limitations deadline, he said.
Kuvin said Goins is not currently working and is in a safe place with her family.
Prosecutors rejected filing a criminal case over her claims, in part because they couldn’t corroborate her account and because that statute of limitations had expired.
Her suit claims Hefner knew, or should have known, that Cosby “over the years had a propensity for intoxicating or drugging young women and taking advantage of them sexually and against their will or while they were unconscious.”
Messages left with Playboy spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey seeking comment from Hefner weren’t immediately returned Tuesday.
A message sent to Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley, hasn’t been returned.
Cosby is being sued by Goins for battery, gender violence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Hefner is accused of negligent infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to commit sexual battery.
Goins previously sued Cosby in federal court in Los Angeles in October then withdrew the case in February before the comedian responded to her allegations.
Kuvin said the case was withdrawn so Hefner could be added as a defendant. The case was refiled in state court.
In the initial suit, Goins accused Cosby of abusing her when she was underage.
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they were sexually abused, but Goins has spoken publicly about her allegations and used her name in the two civil cases she has filed.
Cosby has been charged in Pennsylvania with sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee in 2004.
The case is on appeal while Cosby’s lawyers argue their contention that the comedian cannot be prosecuted because he had an immunity deal with a former Montgomery County prosecution official.
Cosby is also being sued by a woman who accuses the comedian of molesting her at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15. Her attorneys have said they want to depose Hefner in that case.