6:50 AM EST 1/22/2016
Bill Cosby escapes a defamation suit against him. A federal judge on Thursday tossed the lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvanian woman.
Cosby was sued last October by a Pittsburgh-area woman, Renita Hill. According to the lawsuit, Cosby defamed Hill through his and his representatives' responses to her and other women's sexual harassment allegations.
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Page Six reports that a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice. This means that Hill cannot try to amend the suit and refile it.
The lawsuit contained Hill's complaints that she was made to look like a liar and an extortionist when the comedian's camp denied all the women's accusations. However, Cosby's lawyers stated that their opinions were not something they can be sued over since these were protected by the First Amendment.
Unfortunately for Hill, US District Judge Arthur Schwab agreed. "Even considering these three statements together as a combined, single statement, this newly 'conjoined' statement does not lead to an inference that plaintiff is a 'liar and an extortionist,'" the judge wrote.
Hill's camp is not surrendering to this decision without a fight, though. According to Hill's attorney, George Kontos, Cosby should expect an appeal. Kontos claimed that it is easy to say that Cosby, his wife, and his attorney's statements denying the sexual allegations were just "opinions," but the reality is that they contained "all sorts of innuendo and undisclosed facts." Prior to this ruling, however, there was a report that claimed that civil lawsuits against the comedian can do him major harm no matter the outcome.
While the financial costs will be so much greater if Cosby lost his cases, including the defamation cases, a win will not mean he is off the hook, law experts said, as reported by Bangor Daily News. According to the law experts, even if he wins, Cosby can still suffer greatly. A win will just add to public outrage and push a jury to award large damages, lawyers said.
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