Woman files defamation suit against Cosby
BOSTON (AP) – A woman who has accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against the comedian, alleging he “publicly branded” her a liar through statements made by his lawyer and publicist.
Tamara Green said in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Springfield that Cosby drugged and assaulted her when she was an aspiring model and singer. She said Wednesday that she hoped the lawsuit would help her finally establish the truth about what happened.
Green first spoke publicly about the alleged attack in 2005. After she did media interviews, Cosby’s lawyer and publicist made statements intended to expose her to public contempt and ridicule, she said in her lawsuit.
The attorney, Walter M. Phillips Jr., declined to comment. He said he represented Cosby in 2005, but no longer does so. Messages left for the publicist, David Brokaw, weren’t immediately returned.
Cosby, who is 77 and has a home in Shelburne Falls in western Massachusetts, is the lawsuit’s only defendant.
The comedian has never been charged in connection with any sexual assault allegations.
In 2005, he settled a civil case filed by Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University in Philadelphia. Green was one of a dozen women who were prepared to testify in Constand’s lawsuit that Cosby sexually assaulted them.
Through his representatives, Cosby has denied renewed allegations by women alleging decades-old assaults.
Green’s attorney, Joseph Cammarata, held a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, and Green appeared at it via video.
She said it was important for her to prove that she is not lying.
“All of this time, there’s always been a slight doubt in everyone’s mind as to the veracity of any of the allegations that have been made against Bill Cosby because he’s a rich and powerful and famous man,” Green said. “So this will give me and other women if they take advantage of this opportunity … this will give us a chance to go to a forum where we will speak our stories and tell our truth. And the most important thing is that Bill Cosby will be required to appear in court and to speak, and he will finally be heard.”
Cammarata said the criminal statute of limitations has expired for Green and Cosby’s other accusers. He said he has another client who will likely join the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit provides an opportunity for Ms Green and Mr Cosby to litigate the truth or falsity of the comments,” Cammarata told The Associated Press.
Martin Singer, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented Cosby in the recent round of allegations, said of 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.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Green’s lawsuit says that after she met Cosby through a mutual friend in 1969 or 1970, he asked for her to raise money from investors for a new club he wanted to open.
She said she called Cosby on an unspecified date in the early 1970s to tell him that she was not feeling well. Cosby then invited Green to meet him for lunch at a Los Angeles restaurant, according to the lawsuit.
Green said that during lunch, Cosby offered her some red and grey pills, telling her they were over-the-counter cold medicine. Green took the pills and soon began feeling weak and dizzy, according to the lawsuit. Cosby drugged Green “into this altered state, in order to facilitate his later sexual assault,” the lawsuit states.
Green said Cosby drove her home. Once inside her apartment, he undressed both of them, then “digitally penetrated her,” her lawsuit states.
Green said she repeatedly told Cosby, “you’re going to have to kill me” in an attempt to stop him. Cosby didn’t stop until Green upending a table lamp, the lawsuit states. Cosby put two $100 bills on a coffee table when he left her apartment, she said.
Green’s lawsuit alleges that after she appeared on Today and did an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2005, Cosby, through Phillips, responded by saying that Cosby did not know Green, that her allegations were “absolutely false” and that the alleged attack “did not happen in any way, shape or form.”
“Thus by innuendo and effect, Defendant Cosby publicly branded Plaintiff Green a liar,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit makes similar claims against Brokaw for statements he made in February after Newsweek magazine published an interview with Green.