Bill Cosby files countersuit against seven women in defamation case. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. (Video: Reuters)

Over the last year, more than three-dozen women have alleged they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. On Monday, the comedian sued seven of the women, saying the “malicious, opportunistic, false and defamatory accusations” are a mere play for money that has ruined his reputation.

The women named in the suit are Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie, who filed their own defamation suit against Cosby in Massachusetts this fall. Depositions for that suit are set for early next year, as the woman say that Cosby’s representatives defamed them when they went public with their sexual assault allegations.

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Now, Cosby says via a statement from his representative, the women’s accusations “have caused and continue to cause him to suffer substantial injuries and damages to reputation, business contracts, shame, mortification, damages to property, business, trade, profession and occupation.”

Bill Cosby’s life and career

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Comedian/actor Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on September 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“Mr. Cosby states plainly that he neither drugged nor sexually assaulted the defendants and that each defendant has maliciously and knowingly published multiple false statements and accusations from fall 2014 through the current day in an effort to cause damage to Mr. Cosby’s reputation and to extract financial gains,” Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley said in a statement to USA Today.

The attorney for the seven women, Joseph Cammarata, told the paper that the countersuit is “a page out of a defense lawyer’s playbook” that came as no surprise. “It’s curious to me how there can be scores of other ladies who have come out, and yet Mr. Cosby has singled out seven of them to bring a claim against. It seems a bit retaliatory to me,” he said.

In October, a judge declined to throw out another suit against Cosby filed by Judith Huth, who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 15.

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