A day after a federal judge rejected Bill Cosby’s attempt to toss Kristina Ruehli’s defamation lawsuit over an alleged 1965 sexual assault, the plaintiff today dropped the case.
“Plaintiff hereby files this notice of voluntary dismissal of this action without prejudice, the Defendant having not yet answered the complaint or filed a motion for summary judgment,” said Ruehli’s lawyers at Boston’s Todd & Weld LLP in a filing Friday (read it here). While leaving the door open to another action, this does end the matter Ruehli started back on November 9. In an interview with The Washington Post, Ruehli said she doesn’t need Cosby’s money and felt she had made point with the attention her case had attracted along with the claims that more than 50 women have made against him in recent years on alleged assaults over the decades.
Like ex-America’s Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson’s ongoing defamation action against Cosby, this Massachusetts-based suit revolved around comments the actor’s now-former lawyer Marty Singer made to the media impugning the honesty and credibility of Ruehli and others after they went public with their stories in late 2014.
In a story similar to the dozens of women who have claimed that The Cosby Show actor drugged and assaulted them, Ruehli says the incident in the mid-1960s occurred at Cosby’s L.A. home. The actor had invited the then-22-year old Artists Agency secretary to a party, but when she got there, almost no one was in the house but Cosby and a sleeping infant. After two drinks prepared by the actor, Ruehli says she passed out, only to find herself naked and Cosby forcing himself upon her when she awoke.
“As Ms. Ruehli regained consciousness, she immediately became violently nauseated,” detailed her initial complaint of last fall. “She ran to the bathroom and threw up several times. It was unusual for her to become sick after two drinks. Based on her own experience and the accounts of other women, Ms. Ruehli came to believe that Mr. Cosby slipped a drug into her drink without her knowledge.”
Even with this matter over for now, Cosby still faces several defamation cases and other legal challenges, including a criminal case filed late last year that could see the 78-year-old comedian behind bars for up to a decade over three felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges from 2004. With the latter case heading to trial later this year, Cosby again is trying to get that matter dismissed or get a new preliminary hearing on the basis that accuser Andrea Constand did not take the stand at the first preliminary hearing last month. With the actor in attendance, a hearing on Cosby’s motion is set for July 7.