Bill Cosby Refutes Defamation Suit Settlement, Slams His Insurer’s “Egregious Behavior”- Update

By Patrick Hipes, Dominic Patten

Bill Cosby
Jacqueline Larma/AP/Shutterstock

2ND UPDATE, 9:07 PM: Bill Cosby is blasting the insurance company that made a settlement in the long-running defamation case against him. He issued this statement tonight through his publicist:

”AIG showed that they’re a part of the corruption against me, by paying off these distractors, without my knowledge, without my permission and without my consent. AIG’s egregious behavior will be frowned upon by their many customers. They have proven that they do not have the best interest of their clients in mind, which will cause them to lose an overwhelming amount of business. I, [Bill Cosby], will never settle any defamation claim, I will continue to pursue my counterclaims, and I will not relinquish AIG from its responsibility in defending my defamation claims. That’s why I paid my premiums on time and I never let my policy lapse. AIG’s settlement of these claims in Massachusetts makes them look corrupt and it exposes my innocence. Thank you very much.”

UPDATE, 2:42 PM: Looks like Bill Cosby hasn’t settled a long running defamation lawsuit with seven women after all.

Imprisoned after being found guilty last year of the 2004 sexual assault of then Temple University employee Andrea Constead, the much accused man once known as “America’s Dad” took aim at his insurance company and the plaintiffs on Friday.

“Mr. Cosby did not settle any cases with anyone,” a representative for The Cosby Show creator said late Friday.

“He is not paying anything to anyone, and he is still pursuing his counterclaims. AIG decided to settle these cases, without the knowledge, permission and/or consent of Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby vehemently denies the allegations brought against him in these defamation suits and he maintains his innocence,” the rep added.

More than 50 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Cosby occurring over several decades.

PREVIOUS, 12:59 PM: The attorney for seven women who filed a civil lawsuit against Bill Cosby claiming the disgraced comic icon defamed them after they came forward with allegations he sexually assaulted them filed paperwork in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts saying they have reached a settlement deal.

“Plaintiffs’ claims against Defendant William H. Cosby, Jr. have been settled,” a status report dated Friday said (read it here). “Each Plaintiff is satisfied with the settlement. Contemporaneously with this Report, Plaintiffs are filing a Motion for Entry of Order Dismissing Claims as Settled.”

The original lawsuit by the women — Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Louisa Moritz and Angela Leslie — was filed in 2014 but had been put on hold while Cosby was the subject of a criminal trial in Pennsylvania. In September, Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years after he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. Cosby is in prison while that case is on appeal.

One of the woman, Moritz, an actress who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Love, American Style and Match Game, died in January.

Cosby had countersued in 2015, claiming defamation and that the suit scotched deals he had made with Netflix and NBC. Those counterclaims were not part of the settlement agreement noted today, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph Cammarata. He wrote Friday that several motions were planned if that part of the case moves forward.

“The anticipated motions include, but are not limited to: (1) a motion for summary judgment as to all Counterclaims against Counterdefendant Therese Serignese on the ground that Mr. Cosby cannot establish that Ms. Serignese made a false statement with actual malice,” he wrote.

The lawyer also promised “a motion for summary judgment as to all Counterclaims against Counterdefendant Louisa Moritz, on the ground that she is deceased; (3) a motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the non-defamation Counterclaims, on the ground that they are duplicative of the defamation Counterclaims; and, (4) a motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Mr. Cosby’s requests for punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorney fees, on the ground that the Counterclaims do not support these forms of relief, in part or in whole.”

Cosby also faces an October 2019 trial date in Santa Monica over an alleged 1974 sexual assault against then 15-year old Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion.

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