Three women brought forth a defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby. They made the claim that Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago and it has been ruled by a judge that the case will move forward.
The three women claim in their suit that Cosby’s representatives damaged their reputations by denying their allegations and using sometimes disparaging language when doing so. Cosby’s attorneys asked the judge to throw out the lawsuit saying that their comments were opinions that were protected by the First Amendment.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni denied the bid to dismiss the case before it goes to a jury.
The women — Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz — have accused Cosby of drugging them and then having unwanted sexual contact with them. The comments they claim were defamatory range from statements dismissing their accusations as “ridiculous claims” and “absurd fabrication” to longer remarks that sought to discredit the accusers.
“As the old saying goes, ‘consider the source,” ended one statement that touched on Traitz’s criminal and prison record.
In his ruling, Mastroianni rejects Cosby’s argument that the statements were legal declarations made in self-defense.
“The court recognizes that some jurisdictions do apply a version of the conditional self-defense privilege, which allows individuals, in certain circumstances, to publish defamatory responsive statements necessary to defend their reputation. However … such a privilege does not permit a defendant to knowingly publish false statements of fact,” the judge wrote in his 38-page ruling.
An attorney who represents the three women said, “As we’d expected and hoped, the judge rejected every one of Mr. Cosby’s attempts to throw the case out of court and allowed the case to proceed. We will take Mr. Cosby’s deposition at the earliest possible moment. My clients look forward to moving the case forward and to restoring their good names and reputations.”
Source, Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet
Tags: Bill Cosby