LOS ANGELES (CN) - Bill Cosby has temporarily dropped his defamation suit against model Beverly Johnson so that his legal team can focus on the embattled comedian's criminal case in Pennsylvania.
"The case has been voluntarily dismissed at this time due to the pendency of the criminal proceedings in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which impede Mr. Cosby's ability to fully participate in litigating the civil case against Ms. Johnson. We fully expect to re-file the complaint against her prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations," Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley said in a statement.
Johnson only issued a brief statement via social media in response, suggesting her case is merely a piece of a larger conversation.
"It has come to my attention that Mr. Cosby has dropped his suit against me," Johnson wrote. "However, this is not my conversation, rather a collective one on the America we create through public discourse when it comes to victims of abuse and the respect we carry for women."
Cosby's efforts to stay or dismiss other defamation cases against him have stalled. Judge Debre Weintraub responded to Cosby's motion to dismiss Janice Dickenson's defamation case with an order calling upon both parties to submit additional briefings.
Meanwhile, the 14 plaintiffs suing Cosby for defamation in Massachusetts over his denials of their previous accusations of sexual abuse filed a motion of partial opposition to Cosby's efforts to stay the civil case while his criminal case is pending.
The plaintiffs offered to respect Cosby's Fifth Amendment right to postpone his deposition, but only if Cosby's discovery requests are also stayed and he responds the plaintiffs' other requests.
"Based upon defendant's expressed Fifth Amendment concerns, plaintiffs are currently amenable to staying discovery addressed to defendant - if, in the interest of fairness, the court also stays defendant's discovery addressed to plaintiffs," they said in a motion filed February 29. "To this point in discovery, plaintiffs have provided thousands of pages of documents in response to document requests, and have given two depositions, whereas defendant has provided no substantive discovery responses."
The various defamation suits against Cosby all stem from a statement that Cosby released through his attorney, in which he called the many women accusing him of sexual assault liars.
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