SAN FRANCISCO (CA) - A defamation lawsuit filed by model Janice Dickinson against Bill Cosby can proceed after the California Supreme Court declined to review his appeal on Thursday.
Sixty-three-year-old Dickinson, a former model, alleges she was a rape victim of Cosby.
She shared her story in a 2014 interview on the Hollywood news show “Entertainment Tonight.” Dickinson said that 12 years prior she wanted to include the story about the alleged rape in her memoir, but her publisher played down the details.
Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer with Lavely and Singer, issued a letter to media outlets which planned to follow up with additional stories on Dickinson’s accusation against his client. The letter said Dickinson was lying and she fabricated a claim that Cosby pressured her book publisher to remove the sexual assault story from the memoir.
The letter threatened legal recourse and the following day, Singer released a statement to the public that repeated the claim.
Woodland Hills attorney Lisa Bloom represents Dickinson and asked for a retraction of the statement in early 2015, saying that Dickinson did not share the story of the alleged rape at the insistence of her ghostwriter and publisher.
In May 2015, Dickinson filed a defamation complaint against Cosby in superior court. Dickinson, who calls herself “the world’s first supermodel” in the lawsuit, claimed that Cosby drugged and raped her “vaginally and anally” in 1982 in Lake Tahoe, “leaving semen on her body.”
The complaint seeks punitive damages for defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Singer appealed Dickinson’s complaint and her means of sharing her story with the media.
The Second Appellate Court ruled in Dickinson’s favor last November and on Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied Cosby’s petition for review of the appeals court’s decision.
Cosby was represented by Costa Mesa, California law firm Greenberg Gross. Singer, who was named a defendant, was represented by his Los Angeles-based firm, Lavely and Singer.
In a statement released on Thursday after the Supreme Court’s ruling Bloom said, “It's been more than three years that we have been fighting Bill Cosby's legal teams from multiple giant law firms totaling thousands of attorneys. In each court, we have been winning.”
Bloom referenced a previous victory over Cosby in her statement, adding that she would soon question him in a deposition.
“We won a ruling in the trial court years ago that Janice Dickinson stated a legally actionable case against Mr. Cosby for defamation, after he called her a liar for saying that he'd drugged and raped her,” Bloom said. “The court ordered that he appear for a deposition with me, but instead he filed appeal after appeal to stall and delay. Mr. Cosby may be rich and famous, but he is learning that the laws apply to him like everyone else. I look forward to asking him questions under oath at his upcoming deposition.”
In a statement, Cosby attorney Alan Greenberg said, "We are evaluating our next steps in the litigation and remain very confident that Mr. Cosby will prevail."
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