Bill Cosby Defamation Lawsuit Hearing Set, Which Means Three Accusers Might Receive Some Justice
A long list of women have come forward accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault, and now, a federal judge is set to hear arguments in the first Bill Cosby defamation lawsuit filed by three of the women. The hearing will take place at U.S. District Court in Worcester on Thursday, May 7, and was filed in December 2014 by Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, and Linda Traitz. The case does not cover any allegations of sexual abuse.
After coming forward with their claims of sexual assault, the three believe Cosby's representatives "branded them as liars," according to the Associated Press. As for Cosby's lawyers, they say the former Cosby Show star was acting in self-defense. In February 2015, Cosby's lawyers released the following statement: "The law does not require that one stand idly by while he is publicly attacked. Instead, the law entitles an individual who is accused of serious wrongdoing to rebut the allegations without facing defamation claims.”
According to the AP, Thursday's hearing is also set to deal with a request to subpoena records from Andrea Constand's lawyers. Constand was the first woman to file a lawsuit against Cosby for alleged sexual assault in March 2005. The three accusers' lawyers "want documents related to their clients," however Cosby's lawyers say such a request should be denied.
Constand filed a lawsuit in March 2005 claiming that Cosby drugged and molested her. Green corroborated Constand's accusation by claiming the comedian also drugged and molested her in the '70s. During this case, 12 anonymous women came forward with claims of sexual abuse, some of whom have now spoken out publicly. This case was settled in November 2006 when the district attorney concluded that there was "insufficient credible and admissible evidence."
In addition to Green, Serignese, and Traitz's Thursday hearing, on June 9, a Springfield federal court will focus on Cosby's lawyers' motion to dismiss the suit, according to the Associated Press.
If the case goes as the three accusers hope, they might end up receiving at least some of the justice they're looking for. Also, a win for the three women could mean others out of the many Cosby accusers would want to file defamation lawsuits of their own.
As for the sexual allegations, Cosby’s statement via his lawyer remains the same:
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.
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