Bill Cosby is taking legal action against seven women who accused him of sexual assault and sued him for defamation. The 78-year-old comedian is countersuing the alleged victims, saying they actually defamed him.
Monique Pressley, Cosby's lawyer, said in a statement Monday that the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against" the star. She believes the claims were only made for financial gain and ultimately hurt Cosby's reputation.
The counterclaim also alleges the women's accusations derailed Cosby's plans to work on a new comedy for NBC.
The women named in the suit include Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie. Cosby is seeking unspecified damages and demanding public retractions from the women.
In response to the counterclaim, Joseph Cammarata, the lawyer for the seven women, said in a statement: "If anyone is surprised by Cosby's actions today, they shouldn't be. He's taken a page out of the defense attorney's playbook in an effort to shift the focus of this legitimate inquiry. It is curious that he has filed a claim only against these seven women, when there are scores of other women who have made similar allegations of sexual abuse and assault against Mr. Cosby."
Cosby has been accused of drugging and/or sexually assaulting more than 50 women over the span of four decades. He has never been formally charged with any crime.
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