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Alleged Bill Cosby victim fights to have defamation suit revived

A lawyer for former actress Renita Hill returned to court on Friday (07Oct16) to urge federal appeals court judges to revive his client’s defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby.
Hill sued the former The Cosby Show star a year ago (Oct15), claiming he and his attorneys made her appear as a “liar” after vehemently denying allegations he had drugged her drinks and molested her while she was passed out during their stint on the road together in the 1980s.
Cosby’s representatives blasted Hill’s defamation case, insisting her claims held no merit as she had never been mentioned by name in the original statements of denial. They also argued that even if Hill was referred to in the press releases, the comments had been simply a matter of opinion and were therefore protected by constitutional law.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania sided with Cosby in January (16) and threw out Hill’s case without prejudice, banning her from amending and re-filing in future.
However, her lawyer, George M. Kontos, challenged the ruling and filed papers at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April (16). He argued his case in front of a panel of judges in Philadelphia on Friday, when he was forced to prove how the defence team’s comments amounted to defamation.
The judges have yet to make a decision about the appeal.
Hill went public with her story in a U.S. TV interview in 2014, joining a string of other women who had reported similar inappropriate encounters with the veteran actor and comedian, whose representatives have repeatedly denied all claims.
Seven of those alleged victims have since fought to sue Cosby in a similar defamation suit in Massachusetts, where their case remains active.
Cosby’s legal troubles don’t end there – he is also facing charges of aggravated indecent assault relating to allegations of drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004.
He is due to stand trial next year (17), but his attorneys are continuing to fight the case, and filed a new motion for dismissal this week (ends07Oct16).

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