Two More Bill Cosby Accusers Join Defamation Lawsuit Against Him
Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz will probably never get to see Bill Cosby in criminal court to answer their sexual assault accusations, but they may have a chance to face down the embattled comic in civil court.
The two women have joined accuser Tamara Green in her defamation suit against Cosby, originally filed by Green on December 10th in federal court in western Massachusetts, where Cosby has a home, and amended on Monday to include Serignese and Traitz.
The lawsuit stems from statements made by Cosby’s lawyers and spokespersons disputing the women’s accounts, and the suit contends that those statements amount to defamation, because the women have been publicly branded as liars, either directly or implied.
Green is one of Cosby’s original accusers, and her story was told by Philly Mag writer Bob Huber in the 2006 story “Dr. Huxtable & Mr. Hyde.”
As recounted in her lawsuit, Green contends that Cosby drugged and “digitally penetrated” her in the early 1970s and that he let her go after she repeatedly told him, “You’re going to have to kill me.”
According to Green’s story, Cosby left two $100 bills on her coffee table. A Cosby representative has called Green’s allegations “absolutely false” and has said that the incident “did not happen in any way, shape, or form.”
Serignese and Traitz are part of the more recent batch of accusers. In mid-November, Traitz alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1970 when she was 18, after presenting her with a briefcase full of pills, while Serignese claimed that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in Las Vegas in 1976 when she was 19.
Within days of their accusations, Cosby attorney Martin Singer released the following statement, which attorneys for the women say is defamatory to all of them:
The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity.
These brand new claims about alleged decades-old events are becoming increasingly ridiculous, and it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.
Lawsuits are filed against people in the public eye every day. There has never been a shortage of lawyers willing to represent people with claims against rich, powerful men, so it makes no sense that not one of these new women who just came forward for the first time now ever asserted a legal claim back at the time they allege they had been sexually assaulted.
This situation is an unprecedented example of the media’s breakneck rush to run stories without any corroboration or adherence to traditional journalistic standards. Over and over again, we have refuted these new unsubstantiated stories with documentary evidence, only to have a new uncorroborated story crop up out of the woodwork. When will it end?
It is long past time for this media vilification of Mr. Cosby to stop.
Traitz’s attorney also points to the following statement from Singer, made specifically about Traitz’s allegations:
Linda Joy Traitz is making ridiculous claims and suddenly seems to have a lot to say about a fleeting incident she says happened with my client more than 40 years ago. There was no briefcase of drugs and this is an absurd fabrication.
Cosby’s team has not commented on the amended complaint. In response to the original lawsuit filed by Green in December, Singer told People magazine, “We are very confident that we will prevail in this proceeding and we will pursue claims against the attorneys who filed this action.”
The amended complaint appears below.