Nearly 50 women, in all, have told similar tales of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby over the course of his five-decade career.
This is the first time Cosby has fired back legally. In his lawsuit, he singled out Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie.
They joined together in December a year ago and sued Cosby for calling them “liars.” The response came after they went public with their accusations. They’re being represented by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. She’s been busy in court as well.
Allred filed a separate action last month in an Atlanta, after she and other protesters were denied access to one of Cosby’s on-man shows. The attorney sued the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center claiming her free speech and due process rights were violated.
Allred claims she had a ticket to the show and had no plans to disrupt Cosby’s act. But a security guard allegedly told her that she was on a list of banned individuals and would be arrested for trespassing if she stayed.
“Performers should not be able to commandeer a police force (as Bill Cosby’s representatives appeared to do) in order to exclude individuals from the performance because they have a different viewpoint than the performer has,” Allred said in court papers.
The Beverly Hills lawyer is representing 28 of the women who have made accusations going back to the 1960s.
Cosby’s lawsuit appears to be a move to up the stakes in the case pending against him. He could be attempting to run up legal fees in a war of attrition, hoping to force some or all of the defendants to drop out of their case.
The comedian is claiming emotional distress and calls the allegations “flatly untrue,” according to gossip site TMZ.
Oddly, he has yet to take action in other pending cases. Former model Janice Dickinson, for example, also sued for defamation after Cosby and/or his reps called her a liar.
The scandal has left Cosby’s once stellar reputation in tatters. Several universities have withdrawn honorary degrees or dropped him. NBC has also pulled the plug on his new family comedy series.
None of the alleged assaults has resulted in criminal prosecution. So far, all of the civil cases are still pending in court.
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