Women Settle Defamation Claims Against Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial on April 12, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

BOSTON (CN) – A group of women who sued disgraced comedian Bill Cosby for defamation after he called them liars for accusing him of sexual assault have settled their grievances out of court.

The women, who filed a motion to dismiss on April 5, agreed to an unspecified settlement from Cosby, who is currently serving a sentence of 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault.

The defamation case had been on hiatus for over a year while Cosby faced criminal charges in the assault of Andrea Constand, who was not a party in the defamation case. Cosby was ultimately found guilty in April 2018.

Tamara Green and six other women filed their defamation suit against Cosby in 2014. The women were among a larger group that accused Cosby of sexual assault in a Newsweek the same year.

In response to the article, Cosby’s attorney referred to them all as “liars” in a prepared statement.

Although the statute of limitations had lapsed on their claims of sexual assault, the lawyers’ statement gave them a fresh avenue to pursue legal action. 

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

Linda Traitz says she 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 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.

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

The parties’ attorneys did not respond to emailed requests for comment by press time.

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