Judge Finalizes Ruling Allowing Trial of Defamation Suit Against Cosby
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 – 4:51 PM
(CNS) – A judge finalized his ruling allowing Janice Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby to go to trial, but not the ex-supermodel’s allegations against the comedian’s former attorney.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph Hammock heard arguments Wednesday before taking the case under submission and issuing his final decision on Thursday, saying he was standing by the points he had made in his tentative ruling even after studying some of the issues raised by the lawyers.
Dickinson sued Cosby in May 2014, saying she had been re-victimized and her reputation had suffered because of denials by former Cosby attorney Martin Singer of her allegations that his then-client drugged and raped her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room more than 30 years ago. Singer was later added as a defendant.
Hammock said a jury should decide if Cosby was liable to Dickinson for Singer’s statements, which the plaintiff believes made her appear she was a liar. He also said he was bound by a November decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal, in which a three-justice panel found that Dickinson’s case should go to trial.
However, Hammock said he did not believe there was clear and convincing evidence that Singer acted with malice toward Dickinson, who is a public figure and is held to that higher standard of proof.
Dickinson, 63, is one of dozens of women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. Hammock said she is probably “one of the most prominent and vocal of Cosby’s accusers.”
The comedian was not charged with a crime until December 2015, when he was charged in Pennsylvania with aggravated indecent assault.
Prosecutors alleged he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, in January 2004 after plying her with drugs and wine. The first trial ended in a mistrial, but he was convicted of three counts of sexual assault in a retrial and his sentencing is scheduled for September.