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Bill Cosby Drops Beverly Johnson Defamation Lawsuit — for Now

Lawyer says comedian needs to focus on criminal case

Bill Cosby is setting aside his lawsuit against Beverly Johnson, at least for the time being.

The scandal-plagued comedian’s team has filed legal papers to dismiss his defamation suit against the model. However, they are asking the court to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning that they can pick up the case again at a later date.

Lawyers for Cosby contend that the comedian is too busy for the time being with other legal issues — specifically, the criminal case against him in Pennsylvania.

“The case has been voluntarily dismissed at this time due to the pendency of the criminal proceedings in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which impede Mr. Cosby’s ability to fully participate in litigating the civil case against Ms. Johnson,” a spokesman for Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley told TheWrap in a statement. “We fully expect to re-file the complaint against her prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.”

Cosby sued Johnson in December, claiming that Johnson is trying to “thrust herself back into the spotlight and attempt to revive her flagging career” by falsely accusing him of drugging her.

Cosby, who’s been accused of rape or sexual assault by dozens of women, faces multiple lawsuits. He also faces a criminal charge stemming from accusations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who sued the comedian but later settled with him.

The comedian has denied the allegations against him, and in some cases filed suits against his accusers.