Entertainment & Arts

Bill Cosby Janice Dickinson defamation suit can proceed

Bill Cosby and Janice Dickinson Image copyright AP
Image caption Dickinson filed her action against Cosby, pictured left at a previous court appearance, last May

Comedian Bill Cosby has failed in an attempt to have a defamation suit brought against him by model and TV presenter Janice Dickinson dismissed.

A judge in Los Angeles ruled the legal action should move forward.

In her defamation complaint, Dickinson claimed Cosby chose to "vilify" her in his denials to her 2014 accusation that he drugged and raped her in 1982.

Cosby, 78, was charged in December with aggravated indecent assault over an alleged incident in 2004.

Last month a judge in Pennsylvania turned down his attempts to have that case dismissed also.

In her ruling on Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub said she was not assessing the credibility of either Dickinson or Cosby.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dickinson was seen hugging her lawyer Lisa Bloom after Tuesday's ruling

It was for a jury to decide, she said, whether Dickinson's allegations were credible and whether a statement by Cosby's former lawyer branding her a liar was defamatory.

After the ruling, Dickinson - who appeared on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here in 2007 and Celebrity Big Brother last year - said she wanted Cosby to appear in court and "stand under oath".

The ruling came a day on from the 61-year-old's announcement that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In her complaint, filed last May, Dickinson said Cosby's former lawyer, Martin Singer, had alleged she had "completely fabricated" her claim that the comedian assaulted her in a hotel in Lake Tahoe 34 years ago.

Dickinson is seeking unspecified damages for defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Los Angeles's Judge Craig Karlan ruled that Cosby will not for the time being have to testify in a deposition case being brought by Judy Huth, a California woman who says the comedian sexually assaulted her when she was 15.

The judge said his decision was made on the grounds that the actor had a right to avoid prejudicing himself in the separate criminal case pending in Pennsylvania.

The ruling gives Mr Cosby more time to resolve the criminal case before answering questions from Ms Huth and her attorney. Mr Cosby had been scheduled to be questioned on 7 April.

But the judge also said his ruling was temporary, adding: "I don't want this case to be here three, four, five years from now. That's not justice."

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