9:59am PT by Ashley Cullins
Bill Cosby's Ex-Attorney Marty Singer Escapes Janice Dickinson Lawsuit
Bill Cosby’s former attorney Martin D. Singer may be clear of defamation claims stemming from his comments to the media about Janice Dickinson, following a tentative ruling in his favor Tuesday.
Dickinson in May sued the embattled actor, alleging he falsely accused her of fabricating a story in a 2014 television interview in which she said Cosby drugged and raped her in 1982. In November, she amended her complaint, naming Singer as an additional defendant.
Singer issued a statement to the media that Dickinson’s allegations were a lie. The defendants argued it was free speech, not defamation, and have filed a special motion to strike the complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which gives special consideration to lawsuits involving protected speech and the right to petition.
In a hearing Tuesday, L.A. County Superior Court judge Debre K. Weintraub issued a tentative ruling granting the defendants’ motion to strike the first amended complaint, which added Singer as a defendant and more allegations against Cosby.
Judge Weintraub held that because Dickinson knew about Singer’s action when filing the initial complaint, he should have been named then, and allowing the amended complaint to proceed while an anti-SLAPP motion is pending would cause an unnecessary delay to the proceedings.
Dickinson’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, asked the court to delay a decision on striking the amended complaint until after the anti-SLAPP motion is decided. However, Weintraub stuck by her decision.
“I appreciate the judge wanting to move the case along,” Bloom said. “I think we’re going to prevail on the anti-SLAPP motion at the end of February. Then the case will really begin in earnest with the depositions that we have sought with discovery and ultimately with the trial, where we’re very confident we will prevail.”
Bloom said once Cosby and Singer parted ways, she and Dickinson felt it was important to bring the attorney into the lawsuit, but he was never the priority.
“The primary focus of the case has always been against Bill Cosby, and it remains against Bill Cosby,” she said.
A hearing on Cosby’s anti-SLAPP motion is set for Feb. 29.
The Hollywood Reporter has contacted Cosby’s attorney, Monique Pressley, for comment.