Bill Cosby finally has some good news—one defamation case against him has been dropped.
The civil suit, filed in federal court by Renita Hill, was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab “with prejudice” meaning Hill “cannot try to amend and re-file it,” says USA Today.
Hill, like many of the 50 plus women who have accused Cosby of drugging and raping them, came out decades after being allegedly assaulted. She said that the comedian drugged and molested her in 1983 when she was only 16.
Last October, Hill filed a defamation suit claiming that by Cosby’s lawyers denying any wrong-doings and insinuating that these women were just trying to make money, they were calling her an “extortionist” and a “liar.” She also pointed to other comments made by Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby that in her eyes were defaming her character, causing her emotional distress.
However, Schwab ruled the speech that Cosby’s lawyers used was protected under the First Amendment and was “a far-cry from what Hill claims they were saying, the Washington Post noted.
George Kontos, Hill’s lawyer, expressed that he didn’t agree with the judge and that they would appealing the decision.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed…we remain committed to pursuing these claims and to having our day in court,” Kontos told USA Today.
Meanwhile Cosby’s legal team was “gratified” with the ruling, telling USA Today in a statement, “In particular we note that the court found opinionated speech by a defendant’s attorney is protected and not actionable as defamatory, and that none of the facts alleged by plaintiff supported her claims for defamation, false light or intentional infliction of emotional distress under Pennsylvania law.”
While this may be on small one victory for the comedian, Cosby is still facing a defamation suit in Massachusetts filed by seven women, including supermodel Beverly Johnson, who “claimed that after they went public with their accusations, he defamed them by calling them liars,” the Washington Post noted. That suit, which Cosby eventually filed a countersuit against, has yet to be dropped and both Cosby and his wife will testify next month.
In addition, Cosby also faces criminal charges for allegedly drugging and raping Temple University staff member Andrea Constand.