Judge refuses to toss model's defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:02pm EDT
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bill Cosby on Tuesday lost his bid to throw out a defamation lawsuit brought against the comedian and his former lawyer by supermodel Janice Dickinson, clearing the way for a trial in the sensational case.

Dickinson claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that Cosby and his former attorney, Martin Singer, defamed her when they told the media that she invented her account of being drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982.

"It was a big victory for us today and we're very, very pleased," said Dickinson's attorney, Lisa Bloom.

"The court ruled that we will go to trial against Bill Cosby. We've been fighting for almost a year so Janice Dickinson can prove her claims of defamation against him," Bloom said.

The attorney representing Cosby, 78, in the defamation suit, Christopher Tayback, referred calls by Reuters to a spokeswoman who could be reached for comment. Singer also could not immediately be reached on Tuesday.

Dickinson, 61, is among more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, often after allegedly plying them with drugs or alcohol.

Most of the alleged assault cases date back years or decades and are too old to be grounds for criminal prosecution against Cosby, best known for his "America's Dad" persona Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated "Cosby Show."

Pennsylvania prosecutors late last year filed charges against Cosby related to an alleged 2004 sex assault, just days before the statute of limitations was about to expire. He is currently awaiting trial.   Continued...

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby departs a hearing on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Makela