11:03am PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
Bill Cosby's Lawyer Threatens New York Daily News Over "Defamatory" Rape Story
Bill Cosby’s attorney is fighting the New York Daily News over its story in which an ex-girlfriend of Sammy Davis Jr. claims the comedian raped her.
In a letter dated Monday, Marty Singer demands the Daily News publish a retraction and correction and threatens legal action. He writes that the story is part of the Daily News’ “ongoing pattern of recklessly and maliciously publishing outlandish stories about my client fitting with its predetermined smear agenda.”
Katherine McKee, 65, told the Daily News that Cosby raped her in the early 1970s while she was on tour with Davis. In the story, published Monday, she claims the comedian assaulted her when she visited his hotel room to bring him some barbecue.
She told the newspaper she stayed silent until other accusers began coming forward. “I figured, ‘If I don’t think about it, it won’t bother me,’” she said. “I chalked it up to another powerful person in Hollywood who just felt he could take what he wanted from women.”
Singer, who has been vocal in support of his client, wrote that the story fits a pattern of one-sided coverage of the accusations against Cosby. “The media has consistently refused to look into or publish information about various women whose stories are contradicted by their own conduct or statement,” he writes.
He argues that McKee’s allegations are contradicted by positive comments she’s made about Cosby and her conduct toward him online. The letter refers to her “liking” a YouTube video of Cosby’s comedy and posting a friendly message, a promotional webpage for an acting class in which she mentions her work with Cosby, and an interview in which she said Cosby “treated me wonderfully.”
“Why would someone who was allegedly raped 'like' a comedy video by their alleged attacker?” Singer writes. “Why would she list her appearance on his show at the top of her list of professional accomplishments? It defies credibility.”
The letter goes on to call McKee into question due to her previous job as a Las Vegas showgirl, citing the interview in which she is quoted saying she "did a lot of lying” as a showgirl.
The Daily News should have found that her background and her previous conduct toward Cosby were enough to make her story unreliable, Singer claims. He writes, "The enormous disparity between the Daily News story and her public words and conduct establish that the Story was published recklessly and with constitutional malice."
The Daily News’ legal representative, to whom the letter was sent, has not yet responded to request for comment.
Singer went after CNN on Friday for its coverage of supermodel Beverly Johnson’s allegations against Cosby, and TMZ reports the network has responded.