Janice Dickinson, television personality and former supermodel, filed a multi-claim defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. She is claiming that the comedian actor has caused her to suffer professionally and personally when Cosby's attorney "publicly branded her a liar" after her public announcement in November 2014 that Cosby sexually assaulted her back in 1982 when she was 27.
Dickinson, 60, knows that the statute of limitations has run out on any legal action over the comedian's alleged 1982 sexual assault of the world's first supermodel, but with counsel from her attorney Lisa Bloom of L.A.'s The Bloom Firm, she is now seeking unspecified damages due to defamation and a possible jury trial. The former America's Next Top Model judge would be at least the second complainant to file a defamation suit.
According to the 13-page lawsuit, Dickinson alleges that the actor Cosby, 77, made a "choice to vilify and publicly attack Ms. Dickinson," destroying her professional reputation and causing her emotional distress. Dickinson's business engagements are suffering from what she considers a humiliation based on her complaint. She also claims in her lawsuit that she tried to get a retraction from Cosby's camp over the statements made last year when Cosby's lawyer Martin Singer called Dickinson's story "a lie," stating it contradicted her 2002 interview she did with the New York Observer and even her own autobiography. Refused by Bill Cosby's group, Dickinson on her part filed a complaint and stated to let the court decide on the matter. Cosby's publicist and attorney have not responded to requests for comment.
In the complaint, Dickinson also narrates the 1982 occasion in which Cosby invited her to dinner in Lake Tahoe. She said Cosby has drugged and raped her that evening, but did not tell the authorities for fear of retaliation. Dickinson claims she took a picture of Cosby in a robe in the room where the rape happened.
Dickinson's case echoes that of another complainant, Tamara Green, who filed a defamation suit in Massachusetts against Cosby late last year. Green, a former model and lawyer, is pursuing unspecified damages for announcements that Cosby publicized denying her accusations of sexual assault.
Bill Cosby, famous for his "America's Dad" character Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-rated "Cosby Show," settled before a 2005 civil suit charging sexual misconduct, but the court has never ruled against Cosby over any of the filed complaints.