It good news for Bill Cosby and his camp as a federal judge in Pennsylvania, on Thursday, dismissed a defamation lawsuit against the comedian.
Renita Hill, one of the more than 50 women who have publicly accused Cosby of assault, filed the civil suit in October alleging that the actor and his lawyer defamed Hill in the media.
Judge Arthur J. Schwab dismissed the three claims against Cosby, ruling that the statements “do not support a claim for defamation as defined by Pennsylvania law,” according to the ruling.
In November 2014, following Hill’s public accusation of rape, Cosby and his lawyer told The Washington Post that the women coming forward had “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories.”
That same day, Cosby declined to respond to the “innuendos” being made about him to Florida Today, stating that “people should fact-check.”
In the ruling Thursday, Schwab found no grounds for defamation, writing that the multiple claims were “pure opinion” and a “far cry from labeling [Hill] (and the other women who have made similar public assertions) as liars or extortionists.”
“None of the facts alleged by [Hill] supported her claims for defamation, false light, or intentional infliction of emotional distress under Pennsylvania law,” Cosby’s lawyers said in a statement after the ruling. “It is our hope that courts in other jurisdictions with similar matters will respond in like manner.”
Hill’s lawyer said the decision will be appealed.
“We are disappointed, but remain committed to seeking justice in this matter. We strongly disagree with the judge’s reasoning that Cosby’s statements are constitutionally protected opinions”.