Judge dismisses McKee’s Cosby sexual assault defamation suit.

Federal Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Bill Cosby Over Alleged Sexual Assault

Federal Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Bill Cosby Over Alleged Sexual Assault

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Feb. 16 2017 9:52 PM

Federal Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Bill Cosby Over Alleged Sexual Assault

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Bill Cosby arrives at the county courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 1.

Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge, on Thursday, dismissed a defamation suit against Bill Cosby filed by actress Katherine McKee claiming that Cosby defamed her in his denial of her accusation that he raped her in a Detroit hotel room in 1974. “An accused person cannot be foreclosed ... from considering the issuance of a simple and unequivocal denial—free from overall defamatory triggers or contextual themes," the judge wrote. “In the court's view, such a situation would be inconsistent with basic First Amendment principles.”

“I remember I walked in the door, and he had a robe and cap on. He took the ribs from my hands and just grabbed me,” McKee said in December 2014. McKee was one of more than 50 women to come forward in the past several years alleging Cosby had sexually assaulted them. In almost all of these new cases, the statute of limitations on the alleged crime prevented criminal prosecution of Cosby. In response, dozens of accusers took up civil cases charging Cosby and his representatives had defamed them in his public relations push back and legal filings against the accusations. McKee was one of at least eight women that took their cases to Massachusetts, where Cosby owns a home, and sued him for defamation.

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The dismissal is the latest of a series of defamation suits against Cosby that have been thrown out. Cosby still faces a defamation suit in Massachusetts and is awaiting trial in Pennsylvania for the alleged sexual assault of a former basketball coach at Temple University. After being largely silent for much of the past year, Cosby took to Twitter to gloat Thursday afternoon.