Bill Cosby received good news on the legal front Thursday when a judge struck down a defamation lawsuit filed against him by a woman who also accused him of rape.
In an order handed down Thursday, Judge Mark G. Mastroiannia of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts granted Cosby’s motion to dismiss the defamation lawsuit filed by former “The Bill Cosby Show” actress Katherine McKee.
McKee filed her suit in December 2015, alleging that she was defamed after she came forward with her story about allegedly being raped by Cosby in the 1970s. According to McKee’s suit, she was defamed by a letter that former Cosby attorney Martin Singer sent to the media, in which Cosby denied her claim and called her a liar.
The judge saw things otherwise on Thursday, writing, “Plaintiff’s complaint fails to provide any minimal factual development in support of the assertion that these statements are ‘false’ … In any event, even if the court did presume falsity, it could not conclude that the statements are susceptible to a defamatory meaning in the sense of being harmful to plaintiff’s reputation.”
“For these reasons, the court ALLOWS defendant’s motion to dismiss,” the order concluded.
“This is the correct outcome,”Cosby’s civil attorney Angela C. Agrusa said of the decision. “It is paramount in a free society to be able to insist on one’s innocence in the face of serious public accusations, and today’s ruling reinforces that fundamental right.”
In January 2016, a similar defamation la by Cosby accuser Renita Hill was also dismissed.
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of rape or sexual assault, with many of the women claiming that he drugged them beforehand. The comedian has denied the allegations.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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