4 More Women Join Defamation Suit Against Bill Cosby

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Accusers Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Louisa Moritz and Angela Leslie have joined a lawsuit claiming he defamed them when his representatives issued public statements denouncing their stories as absurd and untrue.

Four more women joined a federal lawsuit against Bill Cosby Friday, claiming the comedian sexually abused them and later defamed them by letting his representatives publicly label their stories lies.

Joining the three already named women in the suit are Barbara Bowman, who alleges Cosby won her trust when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, then sexually assaulted her multiple times; Joan Tarshis, who alleges Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1969, when she was 19; Louisa Moritz, an actress who alleges Cosby sexually assaulted her in a dressing room for The Tonight Show in 1969; and Angela Leslie, who claims Cosby assaulted her while she met with him in his Las Vegas suite in 1992.

Joseph Cammarata, who represents the women, said all seven believe Cosby defamed them when his representatives — including the comedian's longtime attorney, Martin Singer, who he recently fired — issued public statements in 2014 denouncing their stories as absurd and untrue.

"These people were held up to public ridicule and a character assassination when they came forward to tell their story of abuse or assault at the hands of Mr. Cosby. This is their opportunity to have their day in court and to attempt to restore their good name and reputation," Cammarata said.

The women are among dozens who have alleged Cosby, now 78, molested them decades ago. Cosby has denied some of the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.

Marshall Searcy III, who is listed as Cosby's attorney on the court filing, declined to comment. Another Cosby attorney, Monique Pressley, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a separate defamation lawsuit filed in California by model Janice Dickinson, an appeals court on Thursday temporarily halted an order requiring Bill Cosby and his former attorney to give sworn testimony. The order put plans to depose Cosby and his longtime attorney on hold.

Cosby now has been named in six separate civil lawsuits. Separately, prosecutors in Pennsylvania and California could still bring criminal charges against him.

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