BOSTON (AP) — A woman who has accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against the comedian, alleging he “publicly branded” her a liar through statements made by his lawyer and publicist.
Tamara Green said in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Springfield that Cosby drugged and assaulted her when she was an aspiring model and singer. Green first spoke publicly about the alleged attack in 2005.
Green said that after she did media interviews, Cosby’s lawyer and publicist made statements intended to expose her to public contempt and ridicule.
The attorney named in the lawsuit, Walter M. Phillips Jr., declined to comment. Messages left for the publicist, David Brokaw, weren’t immediately returned. Cosby is the lawsuit’s only defendant.
Cosby, who is 77 and has a home in Shelburne Falls in western Massachusetts, has never been charged in connection with any sexual assault allegations.
In 2005, he settled a civil case filed by Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University in Philadelphia. Green was one of a dozen women who were prepared to testify in Constand’s lawsuit that Cosby sexually assaulted them.
Through his representatives, Cosby has denied renewed allegations by women alleging decades-old sexual assaults.
Joseph Cammarata, a Washington, D.C., attorney who represents Green in her defamation lawsuit, said the criminal statute of limitations has expired for the women who have accused Cosby.
“This lawsuit provides an opportunity for Ms. Green and Mr. Cosby to litigate the truth or falsity of the comments,” Cammarata said.
Los Angeles attorney Martin Singer, who has represented Cosby in the recent round of allegations, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Green’s lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Green’s lawsuit says that after she met Cosby through a mutual friend in 1969 or 1970, he asked for her to raise money from investors for a new club he wanted to open.
She said she called Cosby on an unspecified date in the early 1970s to tell him that she was not feeling well. Cosby then invited Green to meet him for lunch at a Los Angeles restaurant, according to the lawsuit.
Green said that during lunch, Cosby offered her some red and grey pills, telling her they were over-the-counter cold medicine. Green took the pills and soon began feeling weak and dizzy, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendant Cosby intentionally drugged Plaintiff Green into this altered state, in order to facilitate his later sexual assault,” the lawsuit states.
Green said Cosby drove her home, and once inside her apartment, he undressed both of them, then “digitally penetrated her,” the lawsuit states.
Green said she repeatedly told Cosby, “you’re going to have to kill me” in an attempt to stop him. Cosby didn’t stop until Green upending a table lamp, the lawsuit states. Cosby put two $100 bills on a coffee table when he left her apartment, she said.
Green’s lawsuit alleges that after she appeared on NBC’s “Today” show and did an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2005, Cosby, through Phillips, responded by saying that Cosby did not know Green, that her allegations were “absolutely false” and that the alleged attack “did not happen in any way, shape, or form.”
“Thus by innuendo and effect, Defendant Cosby publicly branded Plaintiff Green a liar,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit makes similar claims against Brokaw for statements he made in February after Newsweek magazine published an interview with Green.