Entertainment

Alleged rape victim sues Bill Cosby for defamation

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A New Hampshire woman, Kristina Ruehli, on Monday sued Bill Cosby for defamation, saying he falsely accused her of lying last year when she publicly said he raped her in 1965.

The suit follows similar legal actions in federal court in Massachusetts, where Cosby lives, and in California.

The 78-year-old actor, best known for his role in the 1980s “The Cosby Show,” wrongly claimed that women he had allegedly assaulted sexually lied about him.

More than 50 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them after plying them with drugs or alcohol, allegations Cosby had denied.

The comedian has never been criminally charged and many of the alleged incidents date back decades that the statute of limitations for prosecution had long run out.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, Ruehli repeated claims she made in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, last year.

She claimed that Cosby drugged her and sexually assaulted her in his California home a half-century ago.

In response, a statement from Cosby’s legal team called the claims “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories”, adding that “there has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men.”

Monday’s lawsuit contends that Cosby defamed Ruehli with that statement.

“It is one thing for an accused sexual assailant to remain silent and allow the legal process, or public opinion, to run its course.

“But it is quite another for him to unleash his agents to deny that he attacked the plaintiff and other women, and to invite others to republish his statements, and to brand them as unreliable liars,” said the suit, which sought unspecified financial damages.

A Cosby spokesman declined comment when contacted.

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