Bill Cosby sues model Beverly Johnson for defamation

Comedian Bill Cosby (left) sued model Beverly Johnson saying she defamed him by accusing him of drugging her.
Comedian Bill Cosby (left) sued model Beverly Johnson saying she defamed him by accusing him of drugging her.PHOTOS: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Comedian Bill Cosby sued model Beverly Johnson on Monday, saying she defamed him by accusing him of drugging her, and making her the eighth accuser he has filed suit against this month.

Johnson is among more than 50 women who have come forward in the past year with claims that Cosby had drugged, and in numerous cases, sexually assaulted them in incidents dating back decades.

Cosby's suit charges that Johnson, a leading model in the 1970s and '80s and one of his most high-profile accusers, defamed him and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

He is demanding a jury trial, court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court showed. Cosby representative Monique Pressley said in a statement that "Mr Cosby states that he never drugged defendant and her story is a lie."

A representative for Johnson was not immediately reached for comment.

Cosby, 78, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has never been criminally charged. Many of the alleged incidents occurred decades ago and the statute of limitations for prosecuting them expired long ago.

Last week, he filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts, sueing seven of the accusers for defamation.

The seven women had filed suit against Cosby last December accusing him of assault, libel and slander.

Johnson, 63, wrote a detailed article in Vanity Fair in November last year about her encounter with Cosby in the mid-1980s, saying she was invited by the comedian, best known for his role in the 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show, to his home where he allegedly drugged her coffee.

She later gave interviews to news programmes including ABC's Good Morning America and Nightline reiterating her claims.

Cosby's lawsuit says he had never spent any time alone with Johnson at his home. The comedian asked for an injunction requiring Johnson to retract her public statements and remove a chapter on him from her memoir.