Bill Cosby Sues Beverly Johnson For Defamation After Her Claims That He Drugged Her
Just a week after the former star of The Cosby Show announced he is countersuing seven of the women who have accused him of sexual assault, Bill Cosby is now suing Beverly Johnson, who came forward in December 2014 claiming the 78-year-old comedian drugged her in the 1980s during an audition for The Cosby Show . As announced by Cosby's lawyer Monique Pressley via Twitter, Cosby is suing Johnson for her "false, malicious, opportunistic, and defamatory accusations that Mr. Cosby drugged her."
Pressley's statement also claims Johnson's allegedly defamatory remarks are an "opportunistic attempt to resuscitate her own career and benefit herself financially from the wave of media attention surrounding her false accusations." Cosby is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to asking for the removal of the chapter in Johnson's memoir The Face That Changed It All detailing her alleged encounter with Cosby.
As stated above, Cosby is also suing seven of the women who have accused him of sexual assault for defamation. Similar to his lawsuit against Johnson, Cosby alleges the defendants made "malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him" and that "he neither drugged nor sexually assaulted the defendants." This particular lawsuit is in response to the defamation lawsuit brought against Cosby by these seven defendants in November. His countersuit comes after a Massachusetts federal judge refused to throw out the defendants' lawsuit in October.
In November 2014, Cosby's former lawyer Marty Singer released the following statement in regards to the claims of sexual assault:
Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. He would like to thank all his fans for the outpouring of support and assure them that, at age 77, he is doing his best work. There will be no further statement from Mr. Cosby or any of his representatives.
Additionally, in July 2015 the Associated Press obtained a 2005 deposition showing Cosby admitting to obtaining Quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex. At that time, his reps responded as follows:
The only reason Mr. Cosby settled [the case from which the deposition came] was because it would have been embarrassing in those days to put all those women on the stand and his family had no clue. That would have been very hurtful.