Scandal-plagued comedian claims model’s accusations against him were effort to “thrust herself back into the spotlight”
Bill Cosby is going on the offensive against his accusers once again.
A week after Cosby filed a countersuit for defamation against seven of his accusers, the scandal-plagued comedian has sued model Beverly Johnson for defamation.
In the complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, Cosby’s lawyers accuse Johnson of trying to push herself back into the limelight with a false allegation that he drugged her and attempted to have sex with her.
“Seeing an opportunity to thrust herself back into the spotlight and attempt to revive her flagging career as a model, actress and public personality, in December 2014, Defendant joined the campaign to assassinate Mr. Cosby’s reputation and character by willfully, maliciously and falsely accusing Mr. Cosby of drugging her at his home in New York and suggesting he did so in an effort to have sex with Defendant,” the complaint reads.
The suit, which calls Johnson’s accusations “entirely fabricated,” adds that Johnson “made all of her false accusations against Mr. Cosby with full knowledge of their falsity.”
Cosby’s attorneys add that Johnson is “no stranger to making salacious public allegations even before her false assertions about Mr. Cosby,” saying that she “previously made allegations of abuse against two of her boyfriends, neither of which resulted in charges of any finding of liability.”
Johnson, who has shared her account with the media on multiple occasions, claims that Cosby drugged her in the mid-80s during an audition for “The Cosby Show.” The model claims she was yanked down the stairs and pulled outside after calling Cosby “a motherfucker.”
The lawsuit claims that, as the result of Johnson’s “intentional, extreme, outrageous and morally repugnant conduct,” Cosby has suffered “severe emotional distress including, but not limited to, tarnishment of reputation and public image, shame, mortification, hurt feelings and shock and harm to his peace of mind.”
Claiming defamation, defamation per se, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Cosby’s suit seeks unspecified damages.
In the past year, Cosby has been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, many of whom claim that he drugged them beforehand. In addition to facing multiple lawsuits, Cosby has suffered career setbacks in wake of the allegations, including the postponement of a Netflix special and the shelving of a comedy that NBC was developing for the comedian. Cosby’s former attorney, Martin Singer, has denied such allegations in the past.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.