Cosby hits out at insurer for settling suit

PHILADELPHIA • Bill Cosby's insurance company, American International Group (AIG), has settled a sexual battery lawsuit that was filed against him by Ms Chloe Goins, a model who accused Cosby of assaulting her in 2008, the American comedian's office said on Tuesday.

Cosby, who is serving time in a Pennsylvania prison for assaulting another woman in 2004, lashed out at AIG, saying the settlement - the terms of which were not disclosed - was "unauthorised".

"AIG continues to act egregiously by settling these heinous claims without my knowledge and/or consent," Cosby, 81, said in a statement.

Early this month, seven other women agreed to settle claims of defamation, which they brought against Cosby in federal court in Massachusetts after he accused them of falsely saying he had sexually assaulted them.

AIG, as Cosby's insurer, also settled those claims.

Cosby has said through his spokesman that he plans to continue pursuing counter-claims against the women, in the Goins case and the others.

In 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to bring criminal charges in the Goins case, saying possible misdemeanour charges were barred by the statute of limitations and that there was insufficient evidence to pursue more serious charges.

Cosby said his legal team had provided medical records to show that he was in New York recovering from eye surgery at the time that Ms Goins said he assaulted her.

Cosby, in his statement, accused AIG of trying to "destroy" him and his family, and he urged other policyholders to "drop this pathetic insurance company quickly".

He said he had been a policyholder with AIG for more than 20 years.

AIG spokesman Matthew Gallagher declined to comment.

As a matter of practice, insurance firms do not necessarily need a client's permission to settle a case.

Mr Gallagher has previously said that "certain insurance policies provide insurers with the authority to resolve claims when the insured has been informed".

Mr Spencer Kuvin, an attorney for Ms Goins, said his client was satisfied with the settlement, but declined to disclose its terms or say why each side agreed to settle the case, which had been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

He said plans to depose Cosby in prison had now been dropped.

Still active are lawsuits from two women, Ms Judy Huth and Ms Janice Dickinson, who have accused Cosby of sexual assault.

Last September, Cosby was sentenced to serve three to 10 years in prison after his conviction in April on three criminal counts of aggravated indecent assault.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2019, with the headline 'Cosby hits out at insurer for settling suit'. Print Edition | Subscribe