Less than a week after taking a big legal loss in his criminal sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, Bill Cosby was handed a win of sorts by the California courts today. An L.A. Superior Court judge Tuesday agreed with the actor-comedian’s lawyers to toss an amended complaint by Janice Dickinson in her defamation suit against Cosby and his former attorney Marty Singer. In a tentative ruling read from the bench, Judge Debre Weintraub also allowed Singer to be dismissed from the case.
“The court finds that the first amended complaint is properly striken,” she said, noting the long ongoing anti-SLAPP motion, “defendant Cosby’s motion to strike is granted.” Having said that, Weintraub noted to Dickinson’s attorney Lisa Bloom and the assembled lawyers for all sides that the original complaint remains in play and “we are moving this case along …we will see everyone here on February 29 at 8:30.” Cosby and Singer were not in the courtroom today.
The former America’s Next Top Model judge claims Cosby raped her in 1982 and that his then-lawyer Singer branded her a “liar” in late 2014 when she brought the incident up. Dickinson took the matter to court in May, and last fall she filed an amended complaint formally naming Singer a defendant.
“The primary focus of this case has always been against Bill Cosby and remains against Bill Cosby,” said Bloom after the brief hearing. “We will continue to fight the case against Bill Cosby,” the lawyer added, noting Singer being unhooked from the matter.
On December 1, Cosby’s recently retained attorneys moved to have Dickinson’s first amended complaint struck or dismissed because they argued it shouldn’t have been filed before there was ruling on The Cosby Show creator’s previous motion to have the matter tossed on free-speech and anti-SLAPP grounds. Singer, who ceased repping Cosby in late October, joined that motion on December 4
On November 2, Weintraub ordered that Cosby and Singer sit for depositions in Dickinson’s allegation. Both the lawyer and the much-accused Cosby — who now has more than 50 women claiming they were sexually assaulted by him over the decades — were spared the depos in late November. On November 12, the 2nd District Court of Appeals laid down a temporary stay on the scheduled depositions. Both parties have since filed more briefs in the action, with Dickinson wanting the stay lifted and Cosby’s team wanting it keep in place and Weintraub’s ruling came down. A decision from the Appeal Court tossed the whole matter back to the Superior Court before making additional rulings on the depositions.