On Friday four more women joined the federal lawsuit against Bill Cosby, alleging that the comedian not only sexually abused them but also defamed them by publicly calling them liars. One of the women joining the suit, Joan Tarshis, says she was drugged and assaulted by Cosby in 1969 as a 19-year-old, and that since coming forward she’d endured public ridicule and abuse. “I’m not a liar,” says Tarshis, a New York resident, recounting an incident last spring where a woman driving by in a car spat at her and called her a liar. “Why would anybody lie about something like this? This is not my legacy.”
In 2014, Cosby’s longtime attorney Martin Singer made public statements denouncing the women’s stories as absurd falsehoods. Joseph Cammarata, the lawyer representing the seven women in the federal lawsuit, says his clients had their character assassinated by Cosby’s denunciations, and that the trial represents an opportunity for them “to restore their good name and reputation.” Cosby has to date been named in six separate civil lawsuits, and may face criminal charges from prosecutors in Pennsylvania and California.
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