Bill Cosby Now Has 20 Lawyers Defending His Sexual Abuse Cases

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Bill Cosby onstage at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 25th Awards Gala

Assault, libel and racketeering: A veritable army of attorneys is working for the disgraced comic as a criminal case moves forward and female accusers seek millions on both coasts.

This story first appeared in the May 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Bill Cosby has been a household name for decades. But in the past few years, nearly every mention of the comedian has been connected to allegations made by dozens of women that he drugged and sexually assaulted them. Many of the alleged incidents are barred by the statute of limitations, but a recently unsealed deposition and a slew of public denials by his representatives have put Cosby, 78, at the center of a hell storm of litigation. He’s got at least 20 lawyers fighting bicoastal civil battles and is facing a seconddegree felony criminal charge in Pennsylvania (even if Los Angeles prosecutors opted not to pursue him). Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing plainiff Janice Dickinson, says she’s determined to push forward to a resolution: “We are grateful that the court ruled that our case can go forward despite nearly a year of Mr. Cosby attempting to have it thrown out.”

SEXUAL ABUSE AND DEFAMATION CASES

Kristina Ruehli
Ruehli, 71, is suing for defamation in Massachusetts. She claims she came forward in 2014 and accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting her in 1965, but the comedian’s representatives responded by falsely calling her a liar.

Kathrine McKee
She alleges Cosby assaulted her in Michigan during the early ’70s while she was on tour with Sammy Davis Jr. She is suing for defamation in Massachusetts, claiming Cosby’s representatives called her a liar when she went public.

Janice Dickinson
The former model, 61, is suing Cosby in California for defamation, claiming his ex-lawyer Marty Singer branded her a liar after she gave a 2014 interview in which she said Cosby assaulted her in 1982. Singer was dismissed from the suit.

Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie
Seven women are suing Cosby together for defamation in Massachusetts connected to statements made by his reps denying they each were raped by the comedian. Cosby’s wife, Camille, was ordered to be deposed in the case, although she was not obligated to say anything that might violate spousal privilege. The women also want to depose Quincy Jones.

RACKETEERING

M. Eugene Gibbs
In a bizarre lawsuit filed by a Georgia man, Cosby and others (inlcuding the Smithsonian Institute) are accused of racketeering by participating in a conspiracy to steal billions worth of black art and cover up his rapes.

INSURANCE CASES

AIG Property Casualty Co.
AIG is suing in Massachusetts to get out of picking up the tab for the defamation suits the comedian is fighting. AIG argues Cosby’s personal injury policy doesn’t cover sexual abuse allegations. AIG lost a similar case in California federal court.

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Cosby Fights Back!

Cosby has gone on the offensive in Pennsylvania, suing accuser Andrea Constand, her mother and her attorneys for breach of contract, claiming the women repeatedly have violated the confidentiality clause in a previous settlement agreement by cooperating with investigators and making public statements. Cosby says the National Enquirer was subject to the same contractual agreement and the tabloid violated its obligations to keep quiet by publishing many stories about the allegations against Cosby.

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