While Bill Cosby might be serving his prison sentence, it seems his legal troubles are far from done. Earlier today, the defamed actor reached a settlement against seven women who claim that Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago. The women argued that Cosby denied his actions, and proceeded to have them labeled as liars.
Court documents filed earlier today in Springfield, Massachusetts, indicate that the parties have agreed on a settlement. Cosby, 81, is currently serving a three-to-10 year prison sentence on a separate sexual assault case. His spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, denies that Cosby agreed to any settlement and that he “vehemently denies the allegations.”
“Mr. Cosby did not settle any cases with anyone. He is not paying anything to anyone, and he is still pursuing his counterclaims. AIG [American International Group Inc.] decided to settle these cases, without the knowledge, permission and/or consent of Mr. Cosby,” Wyatt’s statement reads.
As noted by the Associated Press, a court ruled that AIG (a multinational finance and insurance corporation) was required to pay Cosby for him to defend the aforementioned defamation lawsuits, as part of his insurance coverage. Cosby had multiple types of insurance coverage through AIG. Per Wyatt’s statement, it seems that AIG attempted to settle these cases on Cosby’s behalf.
Bill Cosby agrees to settle lawsuits filed by seven women who say he defamed them when he accused them of lying about sexual misconduct allegations, court filings show. The terms are confidential. https://t.co/NOXXvzei4J— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2019
While a settlement was reached between AIG and the seven women, it is far from official. The judge overseeing the defamation case must approve of the settlement. Not much is known about the terms of the settlement, though the plaintiffs’ identities are public knowledge. They include Barbara Bowman, Tamara Green, and Therese Serignese — all of whom have accused Cosby of sexual assault in the past. Cosby himself has admitted to wrongdoing — in a 2006 deposition, he did confirm that he gave Serignese quaaludes before a sexual encounter, back in 1976 when the two were in Las Vegas. She was 19-years-old at the time.
Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson weighed in on the matter, noting that, between his conviction and limited resources, Cosby may have little bargaining power to contest any decisions on the settlement.
“I don’t think he has much to contest the cases with, given his conviction,” Levenson said. “I don’t know how much resources (he has left). It probably makes sense for both sides to resolve it.”
Bill Cosby was best known for co-creating and starring in The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992. Currently, he is serving his sentence in a state prison in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.