Janice Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby should proceed, a judge ruled Tuesday, saying that a trial could determine whether the model’s claims that Cosby drugged and raped her three decades ago were true.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub ruled that a jury can decide the credibility of Dickinson’s allegations and whether a statement by Cosby’s former lawyer that branded her a liar amounted to defamation.
In making the ruling, the judge said she was not determining the credibility of either party’s claims but was deciding instead whether the matter was worthy of trial.
“I want Bill Cosby in court,” Dickinson said after the ruling. “I want him to stand under oath."
Dickinson sued Cosby in May, after he denied her allegation that he drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982.
“Ms. Dickinson alleges that Mr. Cosby, through his attorney, defamed Ms. Dickinson by issuing a press statement calling her a liar when she publicly accused Mr. Cosby of drugging and raping her,” said Dickinson’s attorney Lisa Bloom. “For nine months, Mr. Cosby has sought to have her case thrown out. Today, Judge Debre Weintraub found that Ms. Dickinson had offered sufficient evidence…”
The suit alleges the denial by Cosby’s former lawyer, Marty Singer, caused her to feel victimized again in November 2014
Dickinson has said she tried to include the story in a 2002 memoir, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel,” but her publisher refused. Dickinson said she recalled Cosby getting on top of her and then the next morning awakened to find her pajamas off and semen between her legs.
Cosby’s legal team sought to dismiss the suit, alleging that Dickinson’s story about her interactions with Cosby had changed over the years.
Cosby’s legal team can be expected to make more attempts to eliminate the lawsuit. The judge has already ruled that the letters Singer sent to journalists warning them against publishing Dickinson’s claims cannot be introduced as evidence, because they are protected legal communications.
Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley said in a statement that they are considering an appeal of the judge’s decision and will continue to seek to have Dickinson’s lawsuit dismissed.
Cosby also faces criminal charges for the alleged sexual assault of a former Temple University coach at his then-Philadelphia home in 2004. Cosby remains free on $1-million bail. He has appealed the filing of charges.