Bill Cosby Accusers Withdraw Emotional-Distress Claims

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (CN) – Their defamation case is going strong, but a group of women with decades-old assault claims against Bill Cosby agreed to drop their emotional-distress claims.

Theresa Serignese, a nurse in Florida, says she was 19 years old in 1976 when she met Cosby in the gift shop of the Las Vegas Hilton. While backstage at one of the comedian’s shows, Serignese says, Cosby drugged and raped her.

Linda Traitz allegedly met Cosby in 1970 when she was 18. She says Cosby offered her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked, took her to a beach and became sexually aggressive after unsuccessfully trying to make her take a pill to relax.

Joan Tarshis claims that she was 19 in 1969 when she passed out from a drink that Cosby gave her. She woke up groggy to find Cosby undressing her, after which he forced her to perform oral sex, according to the third amended complaint.

Each of the women belongs to a federal complaint originally filed by Tamara Green in Massachusetts. Though the statute of limitations for them to bring assault claims against Cosby has long since lapsed, Newsweek printed their stories along with dozens others in 2014.

They say Cosby defamed them by casting them as liars when he publicly responded to the allegations.

Serignese and Traitz joined Green’s lawsuit in January 2015, as did Tarshis in November, along with Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman and Angela Leslie.

Their attorneys signed a stipulation on March 3 that says Serignese, Tarshis and Traitz will no longer pursue their emotional-distress claims.

Joseph Cammarata of the Washington firm Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel signed the filing, as did attorneys for Cosby.

The 79-year-old former family-friendly icon is represented by the Springfield, Massachusetts, firm Egan, Flanagan and Cohen, and by Delilah Vinzon with the Los Angeles firm Liner LLP.

Although Cosby’s legal team did not respond to email requesting comment, the comedian celebrated the development on his personal Twitter account.

The post includes an image of the stipulation for dismissal accompanied by “#Fabulous” and “#AnotherWin.”

Earlier in February, a federal judge dismissed a separate defamation suit against Cosby by accuser Katherine McKee.

Cosby will go on trial later this year in Pennsylvania to face down claims that he drugged and assaulted Andrea Constand at his Cheltenham home.