LOS ANGELES • Bill Cosby on Tuesday lost his bid to throw out a defamation lawsuit brought against the comedian and his former lawyer by supermodel Janice Dickinson, clearing the way for a trial in the sensational case. Dickinson claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that Cosby and his former attorney, Mr Martin Singer, defamed her when they told the media that she had invented her account of being drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982.
"It was a big victory for us today and we're very, very pleased," said Dickinson's attorney, Ms Lisa Bloom. "The court ruled that we will go to trial against Bill Cosby, 71."
Dickinson, 61, is among more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, often after allegedly plying them with drugs or alcohol. Most of the alleged assault cases date back years or decades and are too old to be grounds for criminal prosecution against Cosby.
In her lawsuit against Cosby, filed last May, Dickinson recounts a 1982 incident in which the comic invited her to dinner in Lake Tahoe, California. She believed she was drugged and raped that evening, but did not tell the police for fear of retaliation.
She came forward with the story in 2014, after other women began disclosing similar episodes.
In response, Cosby released statements disputing her claims, including the comment: "Ms Dickinson completely fabricated the story of alleged rape."
The lawsuit says that Dickinson's business prospects are suffering from what she considers a humiliation. The model became known for her reality television show, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, which ran from 2006 to 2008.