Bill Cosby’s attorneys asked a judge on Friday to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by three Cosby accusers. The lawyers say their client was only acting in self-defense.
In a 38-page filing, attorneys for the 77-year-old comedian say Cosby was just defending himself against claims of sexual assault by three accusers who allege the assaults took place decades ago and who have only come forward in the past several years, according to Associated Press.
“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.”
Tamara Green filed the defamation lawsuit on December 10 in Massachusetts District Court. Green claims Cosby tarnished her reputation by repeatedly denying her allegation that the Cosby Show dad drugged and sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz joined the lawsuit in early January. According to TMZ, both Serignese and Traitz allege Cosby drugged them when the women were in their teens.
After Linda Traitz came forward with her allegations, Cosby’s attorney provided information to the media to try to discredit her claims. Martin Singer told TMZ in November, 2014, that Traitz had recently served a three-year sentence for trafficking Oxycodone, possession of a controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Attorney Joseph Cammarata, representing the three accusers, said on Friday his clients disagree with Cosby’s lawyers, reports the AP.
“We believe that the law provides that when you make a public statement about an individual, it must be truthful. We look forward to an opportunity to have the truth tried by a jury who can ultimately determine which of the parties was being truthful.”
The three accusers are seeking an unspecified amount of money in compensatory and punitive damages.
March 20 is the deadline for the three accusers’ attorneys to respond to the motion to dismiss.
Bill Cosby’s attempt to have the lawsuit thrown out of court comes just three days after a new accuser stepped forward to make allegations against him. Former model Heidi Thomas, in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, claimed Cosby assaulted her in 1984. According to Thomas, Cosby agreed to mentor her as she got her acting career off the ground, but ultimately drugged and sexually assaulted her during the four days she spent with him in Nevada 30 years ago.
[Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]