Bill Cosby is still facing a potential criminal trial over the alleged 2004 drugging and sexual assault of a Temple University employee but he won’t be facing the matter in a civil case after all – by his own choice. “Plaintiff William H. Cosby, Jr. hereby voluntarily dismisses the above-captioned action without prejudice,” said brevity fueled paperwork filed today by lawyers for the much-accused The Cosby Show creator (read it here).
After just over six months, this brings an end to Cosby’s February 1 launched action against Andrea Constand, her mother, her former attorneys and the parent company of the National Enquirer over claims that they broke the confidentiality agreement around the 2006 settlement in a civil case Constand brought against the actor after a Pennsylvania D.A. declined to prosecute a criminal case back in 2005. Among other actions, Cosby wanted the dough back he paid Constand – which he surely won’t be getting now
“With a court validation of his ability to proceed forward in that action to protect his own rights, Mr. Cosby has today stepped away from that suit and will instead focus his efforts on defending himself against the claims that have been lodged against him,” said a statement Thursday by the actor’s recently retained lawyer Angela Agrusa.
This comes just under 2-weeks after federal Judge Eduardo Robreno denied the bulk of motions to dismiss the case by the defendants. It also comes after Judge Robreno denied Cosby’s request for a “partial stay of discovery pending the disposition of his criminal proceedings” (read it here).
With a mixed bag of uncertain results, today’s step back move maybe an emerging new legal strategy for Cosby, who faces up to a decade in jail if found guilty of a trio of felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges. With over 50 women across the country claiming that Cosby drugged and/or sexually assaulted them over the decades, the actor still also faces defamation and other cases from coast to coast.
A trial date for the criminal case is expected to be determined sometime later this summer.