An attorney representing seven women — Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Louisa Moritz and Angela Leslie — told a judge in Massachusetts federal court that they are satisfied with a settlement resolving their claim of being defamed by the actor, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The women filed suit in 2014 claiming an attorney for Cosby, who’s currently serving 3 to 10 years for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand, tarnished their reputations by telling the media they "fabricated" their “absurd” and “ridiculous” claims of sexual misconduct.
However, while the settlement was reached (pending the judge signing off on it), a representative for Cosby took to Facebook minutes after the news broke and denied that the Cosby Show star had anything to do with it.
“Mr. Cosby did not settle any cases with anyone,” said the statement. “He is not paying anything to anyone, and he is still pursuing his counterclaims. AIG decided to settle these cases, without the knowledge, permission and/or consent of Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby vehemently denies the allegations brought against him in these defamation suits and he maintains his innocence.”
The reason American International Group (AIG) comes into play is because Cosby had homeowner’s insurance through the company. Because of that, a judge ruled in 2016 that AIG had to defend him in this lawsuit — and two other similar ones, including one filed by Janice Dickinson. Reuters explained at the time that while homeowner policies “typically cover personal injuries, such as when a person falls down on an insured’s property,” Cosby had “excess” coverage that carries “enhanced protections.” While AIG sued Cosby at one point to get out of representing him, a judge ultimately ruled in Cosby’s favor.
So, as Cosby noted, AIG handled the settlements in the lawsuit — and he won’t personally be making any financial payments. AIG has not yet responded to Yahoo’s request for comment about the settlement or Cosby’s statement.
Joseph Cammarata, the attorney for the seven women, noted that the settlement didn’t fully resolve the case. Cosby’s Facebook post noted that his legal team is “still pursuing his counterclaims” against the women, which he filed in 2015 for defamation as well as interference in his NBC and Netflix deals. (Cosby claimed the accusers "induced both NBC and Netflix to postpone or cancel their contracts” with him after his reputation and character were assassinated by the women’s claims.) Cammarata said in court that he plans to bring a summary judgment motion arguing that Cosby can't demonstrate malice. Though the attorney also said he still plans to depose the comedian for the case.
It was also noted during Friday’s proceedings that one of the seven women suing Cosby, actress Moritz, had died in January at the age of 82. She was one of the first to accuse Cosby, claiming he sexually assaulted her in the green room at The Tonight Show in 1971.
More than 50 women in total have accused Cosby of unwanted sexual misconduct. He was convicted last year in the Constand case and is serving time at Phoenix prison in Pennsylvania. His is currently appealing that conviction.
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