July 29, 2016 11:51 am

Bill Cosby drops lawsuit against Canadian sex assault accuser

AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File
A A

Comedian Bill Cosby dropped his breach of contract lawsuit Thursday against Andrea Constand, his accuser in a pending sexual assault case. The lawsuit could have required the accuser to repay the money he paid her in their confidential 2006 court settlement.

Cosby had sued Constand for breach of contract for speaking to police, who reopened the criminal investigation last year.

Story continues below

His lawyers argued that her police statements, along with two tweets and brief comments to a Toronto newspaper, violated the confidentiality clause stemming from the 2006 civil settlement after Constand sued Cosby.

A judge this month upheld her right to talk to police, but said Cosby could pursue the other issues.

READ MORE: Bill Cosby’s accuser doesn’t have to testify before trial, judge rules

The dismissal came 10 days after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ruled that Cosby could not sue Andrea Constand, her mother, Gianna Constand, or her attorneys, Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz, for speaking to investigators about her accusations, and one week after he switched law firms for the second time in about a year.

Cosby claimed American Media, Inc. also violated the agreement by publishing stories such as World Exclusive: Bill Cosby Will Die in Jail, and 99 Victims in 43 Years for Bill Cosby.

In the end, Cosby dropped the suit entirely.

“Last week, Judge Robreno denied in substantial part the motions to dismiss filed by American Media, Inc. (publisher of the National Enquirer), Andrea Constand, and her lawyers. With a court validation of his ability to proceed … Mr. Cosby has today stepped away from that suit and will instead focus his efforts on defending himself against the claims that have been lodged against him,” his new attorney, Angela Agrusa said in a statement.

READ MORE: Bill Cosby’s lawyers say accuser Andrea Constand should pay back settlement

A spokesperson for AMI issued a statement saying, “We were always confident that AMI had not breached any agreement with Mr. Cosby, and we are pleased that he has decided not to pursue the litigation further.”

The swirl of litigation surrounding Cosby includes the felony sexual-assault case involving Constand and a string of defamation lawsuits filed by women who said they were branded liars when Cosby or his agents denied their similar claims.

Constand’s lawyers called the lawsuit the entertainer filed against their client “a blatant attempt at intimidation.”

“The dismissal is a victory for all victims,” lawyer Dolores Troiani said.

READ MORE: Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner sued by woman who claims she was sexually assaulted at Playboy Mansion

No trial date has been set for Cosby’s felony sex-assault trial. He is accused of drugging and molesting Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

Constand sued him in 2005 after prosecutors at the time declined to file charges.

The criminal case was reopened after other accusers came forward and Cosby’s deposition in the civil suit was released.

Cosby filed the lawsuit against Constand in February, less than two months after he was criminally charged for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting her.

Bill Cosby, 78, has faced accusations of sexual assault by more than 40 women over the years, but has denied such accusations against him.

With files from The Associated Press

 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.