Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bill Cosby Hit With Another Lawsuit

The lawyer who sued President Clinton in the Paula Jones case is representing one of Cosby’s accusers, who’s filed a lawsuit claiming Cosby defamed her by in effect calling her a liar after she said he drugged and raped her more than 40 years ago.

Joseph Cammarata, a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Tamara Green, who says Cosby raped her in the early 1970s when she was an aspiring model and singer. The lawsuit was filed in Springfield, Mass., near where Cosby lives. Green lives in Los Angeles.

Green, 65, is one of nearly two-dozen women who have said publicly, in the past or in recent weeks or both, that Cosby sexually assaulted them. Her lawsuit is the latest legal strategy tried against Cosby, who has said little in response to the allegations except to issue denials and angry denunciations of his accusers through his lawyer.

Green’s story is that she had lunch with Cosby, now 77, in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, that he gave her pills he described as cold medication, and she became woozy. He took her home, undressed her, molested her, digitally penetrated her, and wouldn’t stop despite her protests until she upended a table lamp. Then he left, leaving two $100 bills on a coffee table.

Green first told her story in 2005 on the Today show and in the Philadelphia Inquirer and has since told it to multiple media outlets this year. Each time, she asserts, Cosby, through his lawyers or his publicist, denied her allegations, defaming her by declaring them “absolutely false.” The suit claims Cosby’s publicist, David Brokaw, also defamed her after she later told her story to Newsweek.

Why did Green wait so long to file suit, given the one-year statute of limitations on defamation? Cammarata says Green, a retired lawyer, didn’t know she had that option. Also, he is arguing that Green was defamed more recently by Cosby, when she again talked about her experience in public after the allegations against Cosby resurfaced this summer.

Cammarata held a news conference in Washington to announce Green’s lawsuit; Green participated by satellite. He said the lawsuit is necessary — and the only option left to Cosby’s accusers — because the criminal statute of limitations has expired for most of them.

Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer of Los Angeles, issued a statement responding to Green’s lawsuit. “We are very confident that we will prevail in this proceeding and we will pursue claims against the attorneys who filed this action,” he said.

Andrea Constand, a Temple University basketball official, filed a civil suit against him in 2005, alleging battery and assault. Green was one of a dozen women who agreed to testify against Cosby for that suit, but never got the chance because it was settled in 2006.

Judy Huth filed suit in California two weeks ago, claiming recent emotional distress she connected to Cosby allegedly assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion when she was 17 some 40 years ago. Cosby and Singer sought to undermine her credibility by asserting in court documents that she tried to sell her story to a tabloid 10 years ago.