Bill Cosby is claiming defamation in a lawsuit filed Monday against seven of his accusers.
“Mr. Cosby states plainly that he neither drugged no sexually assaulted the defendants and that each defendant has maliciously and knowingly published multiple false statements and accusations from Fall 2014 through the current day in an effort to cause damage to Mr. Cosby’s reputation and to extract financial gains,” Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley, tells USA TODAY in a statement.
The suit, filed in federal court, is aimed at Massachusetts accusers Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie. The lawyer’s statement adds that the “false…opportunistic” allegations have caused Cosby to suffer loss of jobs and “mortification.”
The seven women have joined together in a defamation suit against Cosby in federal court in Massachusetts (where he lives), originally filed last year by three accusers. It’s the largest of the half dozen civil lawsuits filed against Cosby in recent months.
All are known accusers who have come forward publicly in various forums to accuse Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them in episodes dating back to the mid-1960s.
Cosby’s defamation suit against the seven women comes after a federal judge in Massachusetts refused to throw out their suit against him in October.
“This was expected,” says attorney Joseph Cammarata, who represents the seven women named in the Massachusetts suit. “It’s a page out of a defense lawyer’s playbook. It’s curious to me how there can be scores of other ladies who have come out, and yet Mr. Cosby has singled out seven of them to bring a claim against. It’s seems a bit retaliatory to me.”
Attorney Gloria Allred, who is one of six lawyers handling civil lawsuits against Cosby (and represents roughly half of his accusers) also spoke out at the news.
“Bill Cosby appears to be going to war against women who have sued him in Massachusetts and who allege that he has victimized them,” she tells USA TODAY. “Although I do not represent the women in that case, I do believe that in general that such a tactic will not deter courageous women from fighting the battle against him.”
Read more at USAToday.