Bill Cosby is appealing a judge’s ruling allowing former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against the comedian to move forward. Cosby’s lawyers filed papers Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court giving notice of their intent to take their argument to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Dickinson sued Cosby last May 20, saying she has been re-victimized and her reputation has suffered because of denials by his then-lawyer, Martin Singer, of her allegations that the comedian drugged and raped her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room more than 30 years ago. She filed an amended complaint in November, adding Singer as a defendant. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub ruled on Feb. 9 that Dickinson could not amend the complaint to add Singer because the model was aware of the lawyer’s alleged comments before the original lawsuit was filed. Cosby’s legal team argued that Dickinson’s attorneys were barred from amending the original case while a hearing was pending on a defense motion to dismiss the original lawsuit on free-speech grounds. On March 29, Weintraub denied the defense motion and ruled that Dickinson’s original lawsuit can move forward with the former “I Spy” television series co-star as the lone defendant. However, last month Dickinson’s attorneys appealed Weintraub’s ruling that removed Singer as a defendant. The model’s lawyers also have filed a motion asking Weintraub to allow them to file an amended complaint that would name Singer. Dickinson, 61, is one of dozens of women who have accused Cosby, 78, of sexual assault. Cosby fired Singer in October.
The comedian had not been charged with a crime until Dec. 30, when he was charged in Pennsylvania with aggravated indecent assault. Prosecutors allege he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, in January 2004 after plying her with drugs and wine.