Supermodel Janice Dickinson has filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby, alleging that he and his reps defamed her by denying her claims that the comedian drugged and raped her in 1982. The Guardian reports that in addition to seeking unspecified damages for defamation, the lawsuit includes claims of intentional infliction of distress and false light, the latter of which protects a plaintiff’s emotional well-being. Dickinson’s lawyer is seeking a jury trial.
Dickinson first alleged Cosby had assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe, California hotel room last November on Entertainment Tonight, following several other women coming forward with similar accusations. “I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do, and it happened to me, and this is the true story,” she said at the time. “I believe all the other women.” More than 30 women have come forward with allegations of rape against the comedian at this point.
“I am suing Bill Cosby for justice and vindication,” she said in a new Entertainment Tonight segment on Wednesday. “I want to protect all those women that haven’t come forward and show them the love and support worldwide.”
Her new lawsuit claims that her reputation has suffered because of Cosby’s denials. The model claims she asked for a retraction of the denials, according to The Guardian, but the comedian’s lawyers rebuffed her. Cosby’s lawyer, Martin Singer, had previously called her claims “false and outlandish.” Neither he nor Cosby have commented on Dickinson’s lawsuit.
Although the model told Entertainment Tonight last year that she did not report the assault to the police because “I was embarrassed and ashamed” and that she could not recall whether or not she told others about the rape, her lawsuit states she did not report it because she was afraid Cosby would retaliate. Moreover, it claims that the model wanted to include an account of the rape in her 2002 autobiography, but the book’s publisher would not print it.
Dickinson cannot press criminal charges or file a civil suit against Cosby for sexual assault because the respective statutes of limitations have expired. Three other women who have claimed Cosby raped them have also filed defamation lawsuits against him.
Asked what she would say to Cosby during this week’s Entertainment Tonight segment, Dickinson offered some pointed remarks. “Just come out and say the truth,” she said. “Do you want to go to heaven or do you want to go to hell?”