Tamara Green, who accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in the early 1970s, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the comedian for defamation, claiming that his public denials — and those of his lawyers and publicists — have unfairly painted her as a liar.
Green’s attorney said he has “another client” who might join the lawsuit and that the case could expand to include other women who have come forward in recent weeks with stories similar to Green’s.
Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, issued a statement in response to Green’s lawsuit indicating that even more legal battles are coming. “We are very confident that we will prevail in this proceeding and we will pursue claims against the attorneys who filed this action,” the statement reads.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Washington, Green said the unusual legal gambit was a way to bring the matter into open court long after the statute of limitations expired, preventing her and Cosby’s other alleged victims from pressing criminal charges from the decades-old alleged assaults.
“I want it put to a jury. . . . I want it ended, finally,” she said, appearing before reporters via videoconference from near her home in southern California. “I want my name restored. This will give me and other women the chance to go to a forum where we will speak our stories and tell our truth.”
Green is being represented by Washington attorney Joseph Cammarata, best known for his work on behalf of client Paula Jones, who sued then-President Bill Clinton in 1994 for sexual harassment.
Green, who says she worked for Cosby in the early 1970s, lining up investors for a club he planned to open, first went public with her story in 2005, in interviews with the “Today Show” and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
When similar stories of the comedian began surfacing this year, Green repeated her claims of sexual assault in several interviews, including with The Washington Post. Green told The Post in November that Cosby gave her pills he said were over-the-counter decongestants, and when she began to feel woozy, he drove her home, where he undressed her. Cosby penetrated her vagina with his fingers and fondled his penis in front of her, she said.
A lawyer for Cosby in 2005 maintained that Cosby didn’t know Green, and that the allegations were false.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in Massachusetts, Green says that all of the denials are false and that Cosby and his representatives who issued them knew or should have known that — two key standards in proving defamation. The denials “impugned Plaintiff Green’s reputation, and tended to expose [her] to public contempt, ridicule, aversion, or disgrace,” it reads.
Cammarata said the defamation offered Green the opportunity to take the matter to court, where the facts of the assault can come out. As the court evaluates Cosby’s denials, “you have to look at and litigate whether Ms. Green was assaulted,” he said. “Mr. Cosby will have to answer the allegation.”
Green’s lawsuit asks a jury for damages above the minimum award of $75,000.