Attorneys for Bill Cosby sex accuser defending defamation lawsuit

PITTSBURGH -- Attorneys for a western Pennsylvania woman who contends Bill Cosby repeatedly drugged and had sex with her in the 1980s have filed a response to Cosby's attempt to have a federal judge dismiss her defamation lawsuit against him.

See Full Article

Cosby's attorneys last week asked a federal court judge in Pittsburgh to dismiss the lawsuit filed in October by Renita Hill.

Hill sued claiming Cosby made her out to be a "liar" and "extortionist" when the comedian, his wife and his attorney issued blanket denials to claims that Cosby drugged and sexually molested several women shortly after Hill went public with her allegations in November 2014.

Cosby's attorneys claimed the denials constitute opinions that are protected by the First Amendment. But Hill's attorneys said Tuesday that those opinion were based on "undisclosed facts" -- namely, the implication that Hill is lying.

"Such facts include the implication that Plaintiff (Hill) knew she had not been assaulted and that she is an opportunistic liar who is attempting to extort money from Cosby," Hill's attorneys wrote in their 18-page response filed Tuesday.

Cosby's attorneys didn't immediately respond to the filing.

Hill, of Baldwin, sued claiming Cosby drugged and had sex with her several times after they met on a children's educational TV show.

She went public with her allegations in a television interview in late 2014 because she was "emboldened" after other women began renewing similar allegations against Cosby, her attorneys have said.

Cosby has yet to respond specifically to Hill's allegations that he drugged and had sex with her several times after they met on the TV show, "Picture Pages," in 1983. Hill claims that went on for about four years, starting when she was 16, and that Cosby helped pay for her college and would fly her to cities where he was performing and provide her with hotel rooms where he'd have sex with her, until she cut off contact with him.

But she contends statements from Cosby and his camp -- including a statement given to the Washington Post the day after her TV interview by Cosby attorney Martin Singer -- pertain to her.

Among other things, that statement said, "There has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men, so it makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward now for the first time ever asserted a legal claim back at the time they allege they had been sexually assaulted."

Cosby's attorneys argued that Hill couldn't be defamed by the blanket denials because none of them specifically referenced her, and that, even if they did, the statements weren't made with "actual malice" and concern a public figure -- Hill -- embroiled in a public controversy.

But Hill's attorneys contend it's reasonable to infer that the various Cosby denials refer to her because "she was a member of a very small group of women to whom the statements could possibly be directed."

Also, they contend Hill isn't a "public figure" despite the publicity her allegations and others have generated because the public didn't have a stake in the outcome of the controversy, the filing said.

Cosby's attorneys have until Jan. 5 to respond to Hill's filing.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab has not scheduled a hearing on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit and can choose to decide the matter on the written arguments alone.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Talent agency Wilhelmina signs Nicki Minaj

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Wilhelmina talent and modeling agency has signed Nicki Minaj to its celebrity division. The agency said in a statement Wednesday that it will work to further the six-time American Music Award winner's influence in fashion and beauty. Source
  • Lamar Odom regrets affairs, says cocaine helped end career

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Lamar Odom says he's "a walking miracle" after being found unconscious with cocaine in his system in a Nevada brothel in 2015. Odom tells US Weekly he hid his cocaine use from ex-wife Khloe Kardashian for a while, but she found out about two years before their 2013 split. Source
  • Straight Outta Compton, Vin Scully's call to be preserved by Library of Congress

    Entertainment CBC News
    First it became the basis for an Oscar-nominated movie. Now, Straight Outta Compton — the groundbreaking album from rap group N.W.A. and a one-time flashpoint in the nation's culture wars — has been selected for the prestigious U.S. Source
  • Jackie Kennedy's intimate letters with U.K. diplomat go on sale

    Entertainment CTV News
    Letters written by Jackie Kennedy to a British diplomat rejecting his marriage proposal years after the assassination of her husband, U.S. president John F. Kennedy, go under the hammer in London on Wednesday. The correspondence between Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore, Britain's ambassador to the U.S. Source
  • St. Louis services set for April 9 for rock icon Chuck Berry

    Entertainment CTV News
    ST. LOUIS -- Chuck Berry fans will have their chance to pay their respects to the late rock 'n' roll visionary. Berry's family announced in a statement Wednesday that what they called a public "viewing" will be held from 8 a.m. Source
  • Harry Styles announces first solo performance

    Entertainment CTV News
    Harry Styles is set to make his solo debut, over a year since parting ways with his former boy band One Direction. The pop star will appear as a musical guest on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on April 15, the show's guest host for the week, Jimmy Fallon has revealed. Source
  • Family and close friends say goodbye to George Michael

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON -- Singer George Michael's publicist says his funeral has been held in London. The private funeral ceremony took place Wednesday at Highgate Cemetery in north London. Michael's publicity agency, Connie Filippello Publicity, said in a statement it was attended by family and close friends Source
  • Spider-Man out of Marvel Cinematic Universe after 'Homecoming 2'? [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Now that Spider-Man is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you may want to enjoy his web-slinging antics while you can. At least when it comes to seeing him battle evil alongside Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the Avengers. Source
  • Lamar Odom admits cheating on Khloe Kardashian with multiple women

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lamar Odom has confirmed he was having multiple affairs while married to Khloe Kardashian. The retired NBA basketball player married the reality TV star in 2009 one month after they met and they split in 2013 amid rumours he had been unfaithful, with one mistress even going public with her story. Source
  • Wife of Allman Brothers co-founder arrested in Florida

    Entertainment CTV News
    SARASOTA, Fla. -- The wife of an Allman Brothers Band founding member is accused of pointing a rifle at members of a rowing team in Florida. Sarasota County Sheriff's officials say 62-year-old Donna Betts was charged Tuesday with 18 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Source