Media attention on Bill Cosby and his possibly lurid past hasn’t been that heavy in recent months, although there are still stories to be found. Well, the formerly non-tarnished comedy legend has found the spotlight anew in the form of a lawsuit firing back at some of his accusers, in part saying that their defamation of his name and character led to his financial losses when both NBC and Netflix decided to drop his projects from their rosters. I’m sure you readers have some interesting faces happening right now.
Cosby’s retaliation is over a defamation lawsuit filed in December 2014 by Tamara Green, who was then joined in the legal action by other accusers Therese Serignese, Linda Traits, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Louis a Moritz and Angela Leslie. They claimed his denial of their allegations has hurt their reputations, and he’s saying their accusations are what caused his “honorable legacy and reputation” to take a (breathtakingly steep) downfall. The counterclaims say they were “willfully, maliciously and falsely accusing” Cosby of the sexual crimes, and that the whole thing is basically a way to rake him for his money. You can also throw some emotional distress in there.
Much of the post-accusation attention given to Cosby’s entertainment value revolved around Cosby Show reruns getting yanked from certain networks, and both sides of that argument. But rarer were mentions of the up-in-flames NBC sitcom pilot from Mike O’Malley about an older man (Cosby) relaying wisdom to several younger generations of his family, or the Netflix special Bill Cosby 77, which was scheduled for a post-Thanksgiving premiere. Both of those projects got scrapped as the accusations came out, and both would have likely made Cosby a pretty penny.
Indeed, anyone would be angry about someone “engaging in a campaign to assassinate” their character, and it’s understandable that someone would want to get compensation if someone else ruined a job prospect. So, the basic gist of the counterclaims is easy to grasp, but the complicated largeness of Cosby’s case in particular changes everything, in a number of different ways that are better suited for courtrooms and paperwork than this website. Suffice to say, it’s a move that undoubtedly looks particularly awful to those standing on the opposite side of the road from Cosby.
As THR reports, the accusers’ attorney Joseph Cammarata calls this “playbook” behavior as a way to shift focus, and he wondered why Cosby is only going after these accusers, rather than going against the many others. I have to think it’s because they sued him first, and that if he would somehow win this case, that’s when he’d start going after others one by one.
No amount was specified for damages being sought, so we’ll just have to wait to hear more about this case in the coming days and weeks.