Actor and comedian Bill Cosby sued seven women on Dec. 14 who had accused him of defaming them, saying that they lied when they accused him of sexual assault. (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.

[Will Bill Cosby show up for his deposition? Gloria Allred responds as two more women allege assault]

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.”

“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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