Bill Cosby files defamation lawsuit against actress Beverly Johnson

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Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby has filed a defamation lawsuit against actress Beverly Johnson, claiming that she made false allegations against the comedian to profit off the wave of accusations.

The defamation lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of California on Monday morning, according to Cosby attorney Monique Pressley. Cosby is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, a permanent injunction to stop Johnson from continuing to publish her allegations, and a public statement by Johnson in which she retracts her allegations against Cosby.

“Suing defendant for defamation, defamation per se, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Mr. Cosby states that he never drugged defendant and her story is a lie,” Pressley said in a statement. “The suit further states that defendant’s entirely fabricated accusations are nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to resuscitate her own career and benefit herself financially from the wave of media attention surrounding her false allegations against Mr. Cosby.”

The lawsuit accuses Johnson of using the media’s attention to her allegations to promote the sale of her memoir, which includes a chapter in which she accuses Cosby of drugging her. “She has repeated [the allegations] to every media publication, newspaper, magazine, or TV show that will hear her,” the statement said, which claims that Johnson is “no stranger to making salacious public allegations”.

The latest lawsuit comes just a week after Cosby sued seven women who have accused him of sexual assault. Johnson’s allegations did not involve sexual assault, but the actress claims Cosby spiked her drink with an unknown drug during a meeting at his Manhattan residence in the 1980s. She said she realized what was happening and screamed at Cosby, who then allegedly took her to a cab.

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