Bill Cosby drops defamation lawsuit against Beverly Johnson

He has requested to drop the case ‘without prejudice’ which means he can come back to the case at a later date - he currently faces four other lawsuits  

Comedian Bill Cosby has dropped his lawsuit against Beverly Johnson, the first black model on the cover of Vogue, who accused Mr Cosby of drugging her coffee and sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.

Mr Cosby, who is facing another lawsuit in Pennsylvania accusing him of sexual assault, filed a request for dismissal on Friday.

He had sued Ms Johnson for claiming in a Vanity Fair interview and in a recent book that he had doped her and touched her in a sexual manner inside his Manhattan townhouse.

Ms Johnson alleged that Mr Cosby slipped something in her coffee when she visited him to read a part for “The Cosby Show”.

Ms Johnson claimed that she soon realised what was happening and Mr Cosby put her quickly into a taxi.

Mr Cosby, 78, has requested to drop the defamation case “without prejudice”, meaning he requests the right to possibly re-file the case later on.

“The case has been voluntarily dismissed at this time due to the pendency of the criminal proceedings in Montgomery County, PA, which impede Mr. Cosby's ability to fully participate in litigating the civil case against Ms. Johnson,” a Cosby spokesman said in a statement, as reported by New York Daily News. “We fully expect to re-file the complaint against her prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.”

Ms Johnson is just one woman out of many who have stepped forward to accuse the embattled comedian of sexual misconduct or assault.

In Pennsylvania the embattled comedian faces accusations of sexual assault from Andrea Costand. Ms Costand claims Mr Cosby gave her Quaaludes before sexually assaulting her at his suburban house in Philadelphia in 2004.

Mr Cosby has pleaded not guilty and is out on bail.

He faces a defamation lawsuit himself, which was filed by seven accusers in Massachusetts, a defamation lawsuit from model Janice Dickson in Los Angeles and a pending sexual battery case from Judy Huth in Santa Monica, California.

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