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Bill Cosby sues model Beverly Johnson over drugging claim

Published 21/12/2015

Bill Cosby last week counter-sued seven other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct (AP)
Bill Cosby last week counter-sued seven other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct (AP)

Bill Cosby is suing model Beverly Johnson over her allegations that he drugged and attempted to sexually assault her in the 1980s.

Cosby's defamation lawsuit filed in Los Angeles calls Johnson's story a lie and accuses her of using it to try to rekindle her career.

Johnson first accused Cosby of drugging her in his New York home in a piece last year for Vanity Fair magazine. She has described Cosby allegedly drugging her and her angry reaction in subsequent interviews and a memoir.

Cosby's lawsuit contends a dinner described by Johnson was attended by his wife and he never dined alone with the supermodel.

Last week, Cosby counter-sued seven other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Cosby's lawsuit says Johnson's "false allegations against Mr Cosby have been the centerpiece of her attempted resurgence and she has played them to the hilt, repeatedly and maliciously publishing the false accusations in articles, interviews and television appearances".

It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction preventing the model from repeating her claims that the comedian drugged her with a cappuccino in his New York home in the 1980s.

In the counter-suit, Cosby claims the women made "malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory accusations" of sexual misconduct against him that are "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him".

The lawsuit against Johnson, 63, is the latest legal salvo from Cosby, who is a defendant in five civil cases filed in Los Angeles, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh. Since late 2014, more than 50 women - most of whom have not sued - have accused the comedian of sexual abuse dating back decades. Cosby has never been criminally charged.

Cosby's lawyers on Friday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by Renita Hill, who has accused the comedian of drugging and having sex with her several times after they met on a children's educational TV show in 1983.

She went public with her allegations in a KDKA-TV news interview in November last year and contends blanket denials that Cosby sexually abused women issued since by the comedian, his wife and his lawyer make Ms Hill out to be a "liar" and an "extortionist".

Cosby, 78, has yet to respond publicly to Ms Hill's allegations that he drugged and had sex with her several times after they met on the TV show Picture Pages in 1983. She claims that went on for about four years, starting when she was 16, and that Cosby helped pay for her college and would fly her to cities where he was performing and provide her with hotel rooms where he would have sex with her, until she cut off contact with him.

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