Defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby dismissed in Massachusetts

A federal judge ruled Cosby did not defame Katherine McKee in 2014 when he denied her accusation of rape through his lawyer in a letter to the New York Daily News.
By Stephen Feller  |  Feb. 16, 2017 at 10:28 PM
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Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A defamation lawsuit against disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, one of several suits and trials related to allegations he committed dozens of rapes over the course of several decades, was dismissed Thursday by a Massachusetts judge.

A federal judge in Springfield on Thursday dismissed a defamation case filed by Katherine McKee, who alleged Cosby defamed her after the New York Daily News published a letter from one of his lawyers denying her accusation that he raped her.

McKee is one of 60 women who have accused Cosby of rape in recent years, with some cases dating back decades. McKee came forward in 2014 claiming she was raped by Cosby in a hotel room in the 1970s.

The defamation case dismissed Thursday is the third such suit against Cosby that has been dismissed, though he still faces several other civil cases -- one a defamation case filed by six accusers in Massachusetts and another from model Janice Dickinson in California, among them -- as well as criminal charges in Pennsylvania over a sexual assault accusation in 2004.

"Today's ruling joins a growing list of dismissals of actions against Mr. Cosby," Cosby's attorney, Angela Agrusa, said in a statement. "These decisions should also pave the way to the final dismissal of the remaining civil actions pending against Mr. Cosby."

McKee, who appeared on The Bill Cosby Show in 1971, met up with Cosby in Detroit in 1974. Cosby allegedly asked her to pick food up and meet him at his hotel before an event, but instead attacked and sexually assaulted her in the hotel room when she arrived.

The New York Daily News published her account in 2014, with one of Cosby's lawyers responding to the story and denying the rape. McKee later filed suit in 2015 alleging she lost business as a casting director because of the public rebuke of her claims.

Although he now has one less case to deal with, Cosby is still grappling with other defamation cases, as well as the criminal charges in Pennsylvania stemming from an encounter with Andrea Constrand, who claims Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in her home in 2004.

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