After 35 women came forward to talk about their experience being asked out by Bill Cosby, spending an evening with him, being drugged and then raped, it’s now Cosby who says he has emotional distress. We’ve heard story after story telling the same type of narrative with only a few varied details to match the accuser. Some women were drugged in hotel rooms, some women were drugged in limousines, some women were drugged in his home, but all of them woke up having been raped.
Most of the claims by these women fall outside a statute of limitations for a lawsuit, some were settled by Cosby out of court with gag orders attached to them. But all of those who have come forward have successfully labeled Cosby a rapist. As a result, Cosby has spent the better part of this year and last experiencing a lot of public reactions like honorary PhD’s being taken away and it’s certain reduction in the number of women who are likely to accept invitations to drink with him.
As a result, Cosby has said that this is all defamation and has caused him severe emotional distress so he is suing 7 of the 35 women. “Mr. Cosby states plainly that he neither drugged nor sexually assaulted the defendants and that each defendant has maliciously and knowingly published multiple false statements and accusations from Fall 2014 through the current day in an effort to cause damage to Mr. Cosby’s reputation and to extract financial gains,” Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley, said in a statement.
According to this statement Cosby is filing the suit in federal court, and aiming it at accusers Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie. All of these women have joined the federal lawsuit against Cosby in the last year
Defamation is a difficult suit to win. In most cases it requires that the defendant is not a public official as public officials are held to a different standard of defamation than private individuals. Since Cosby is a famous person, it makes the case a little more complicated and I certainly don’t know Massachusettes defamation law. However, all states require petitioners to prove what they are saying is not true, thus, Cosby would have to prove that he did not rape the 7 women to win his case.
Joseph Cammarata, the attorney who represents the women named in the suit dismissed the case as desperate. “It’s a page out of a defense lawyer’s playbook. It’s curious to me how there can be scores of other ladies who have come out, and yet Mr. Cosby has singled out seven of them to bring a claim against. It’s seems a bit retaliatory to me.”
It is desperate. It’s also absurd. Whatever, Cosby, you’re not a victim. No lawsuit is going to make any woman in this country want to let you bring her a drink.
Feature image by World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr.