Bill Cosby jailed but faces more civil suits

Bill Cosby filed his first appeal against his three-to-10-year sentence on Oct 5, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Bill Cosby is not done with court appearances yet. With him in prison, much of the legal battle surrounding him will now shift to civil court, where he has been sued by 10 women who said he sexually assaulted them.

The civil suits had largely been on hold while the criminal trial played out. Cosby filed his first appeal against his three-to-10-year sentence last Friday, but lawyers for the plaintiffs intend to push forward with their cases now that he has been convicted of sexually assaulting Ms Andrea Constand.

Many of the women did not go public with their experiences until after the statute of limitations for the offence had expired. But they were not barred from filing civil suits, four of which remain active in courtrooms around the country.

Ms Lisa Bloom, who represents former model Janice Dickinson, said her lawsuit was motivated by accountability and justice, not money.

"Janice and I have both said on the record, if he would admit what he did to her and apologise, we would drop the case," she said.

In Dickinson's and a second case involving seven other women, the plaintiffs have accused Cosby of defaming them, asserting that his team labelled them as liars when they came forward with their accounts.

Now they hope to introduce Cosby's conviction as important new evidence in their suits.

"He's a registered sex offender now and that helps us a great deal in our case," said Ms Bloom.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline Bill Cosby jailed but faces more civil suits. Subscribe