Bill Cosby Accuser Renita Hill’s Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed
Bill Cosby accuser Renita Hill had her defamation lawsuit against the comedian thrown out on Thursday after a federal judge in Pennsylvania determined it was under the protection of the First Amendment when his camp implied she was a “liar” and “extortionist.”
In November 2014, Hill alleged that Cosby drugged and assaulted her back in the 1980s, and filed a lawsuit against him last October after his lawyers insisted she and other accusers were lying. Hill’s case attempted to argue that Cosby’s camp had defamed her name by branding her a “liar” and “extortionist,” but a judge ultimately determined that the attorneys were simply stating their general opinions about the various accusations against him. And those statements, ruled the judge, are protected speech. The case has now been dismissed with prejudice, meaning Hill cannot refile it.
The legal victory for Cosby comes two weeks after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office decided he would not face criminal charges in two other sexual assault cases. As Gossip Cop reported, Playboy model Chloe Goins accused the comedian of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008, while another unidentified woman claimed the he raped her in 1965, when she was 17 years old. Both lawsuits were dismissed due to insufficient evidence and the statute of limitations running out.
Cosby, however, is still facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. This past December, the comedian was arrested in Pennsylvania and charged with aggravated indecent assault over the alleged incident. Shortly after being booked, he was released on $1 million bail. If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison. In addition, he is still facing other defamation lawsuits, and has countersued some of those accusers, including model Beverly Johnson.