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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Bill Cosby Sues Model Over Drugging Claims

(CN) - Embattled comedian Bill Cosby struck back in court at a California model he says is trying to capitalize on the wave of unsubstantiated sexual-assault claims he faces.

The 19-page complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court repeatedly emphasizes that Cosby "never drugged" Beverly Johnson, who has the distinction of being the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue.

There is also one line in the complaint that says Cosby "never ... tried to sexually assault [Johnson] at his home in New York or at any other place or any other time."

Alleging that Johnson is trying to "revive her flagging career as a model, actress, and public personality," Cosby says it has been a year since Johnson "joined the campaign to assassinate" his reputation.

Johnson "has repeated her lies about Mr. Cosby drugging her to every media publication, newspaper, magazine, or TV show that will hear her," according to the complaint.

Cosby says the desperate story Johnson weaved falsely accuses him of drugging her at his New York home, after dinner one evening in the 1980s, "in an effort to have sex with" her.

Insisting that the "story is unequivocally false and fabricated," Cosby notes that the dinner he and Johnson shared "was at a New York restaurant," not his house.

Moreover, Cosby's wife was present, according to the complaint.

Johnson "and Mr. Cosby never dined alone in Mr. Cosby's home, and never spent any time alone together in Mr. Cosby's home ever," the complaint states.

Though Johnson's "career was on the wane" before she lobbed these allegations, the model published a memoir in August 2015 and is using "those false allegations" to boost sales, according to the complaint.

Although Johnson did not respond to an email seeking comment, she did go to Twitter in response to Cosby's lawsuit. "I am aware of the statements from Bill Cosby," the woman tweeted. "In cases of rape and abuse, abusers will do whatever they can to intimidate and weaken."

According to Johnson's account, which the model's memoir retells, Cosby invited her to his home after getting a role on "The Cosby Show." She says Cosby offered her a cappuccino.

"I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I'd been drugged - and drugged good," Johnson told a Vanity Fair reporter last year, according to the complaint.

At that point, Johnson says she shouted profanities at Cosby until she was forcibly removed from his home.

Cosby wants an injunction against Johnson from speaking about him, as removing the chapter about Cosby from her memoir in subsequent releases.

"Despite the recent barrage of unsubstantiated accusations, Mr. Cosby has never been found liable by any court for any sexual misconduct," the complaint states.

Cosby's lawsuit is the latest defamation suit he has filed against numerous women, who in turn have filed defamation suits against Cosby.

On the same day Cosby sued Johnson in California, an actress named Katherine McKee filed a federal defamation complaint against comedian in Springfield, Mass.

Noting that she filmed an episode of "The Bill Cosby Show" in 1971, McKee claims that Cosby physically attacked and then raped her at his hotel room in the 1974.

The complaint quotes a New York Daily News article from earlier this month in which Cosby's attorney called McKee a liar.

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