Friday 20 July 2018

Cosby accuser launches appeal against throwing out of her defamation case

Bill Cosby denies wrongdoing in the case
Bill Cosby denies wrongdoing in the case

One of Bill Cosby's accusers is launching an appeal against the throwing out of her defamation case against the US comedian and actor.

Renita Hill, 48, whose acting career started in her teens, claims Cosby drugged and molested her and argues he and other people defamed her when they challenged her accusations and those made by other women who went public in 2014.

Cosby, his wife and lawyer made separate statements that painted the women as liars and extortionists, the lawsuit said. Hill argues that the Cosby camp knew the accusations were true.

"All three statements are defamatory because they imply that Ms Hill lied about being sexually assaulted," lawyer George M Kontos wrote in the appeal, which was filed on Friday to the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge had dismissed her suit in January after ruling that the Cosby camp's comments were protected by the First Amendment. However, a fellow judge in Massachusetts has allowed a similar defamation suit, filed by seven Cosby accusers, to move forward.

Cosby remains free on one million US dollars bail in his Pennsylvania criminal case, where he is charged with drugging and assaulting a Temple University basketball team employee at his home in the Philadelphia area in 2004. He has asked an appeals court to dismiss the case.

Hill's lawsuit states that Cosby drugged and molested her, starting when she was 16, after they met on the TV show Picture Pages in 1983.

Around 50 women have come forward to say Cosby forced unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago.

Cosby, who played Dr Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992, has denied the allegations.

Press Association

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