Federal Judge Mastroianni says a defamation lawsuit brought against Cosby by three women who say he sexually abused them decades ago can move forward. Cosby’s lawyers had asked the judge to dismiss their suit, arguing that the remarks were personal opinions protected by the First Amendment and legal declarations made in his defense. Green, Serignese and Traitz have accused Cosby of drugging them and then having unwanted sexual contact with them. The defamatory comments range from statements dismissing their accusations as “ridiculous claims” and “absurd fabrication” to longer remarks that sought to discredit the accuser. Mastroianni:
The court recognizes that some jurisdictions do apply a version of the conditional self-defense privilege, which allows individuals, in certain circumstances, to publish defamatory responsive statements necessary to defend their reputation. However … such a privilege does not permit a defendant to knowingly publish false states.
Attorney for women:
We’d expect and hope the judge rejected every one of Mr. Cosby’s attempts to throw the case out of court and allowed the case to proceed.