Transcript for Bill Cosby Sues 7 Accusers for Defamation
Bill Cosby strikes back launching a counter lawsuit against seven of his accusers. Charging them with damaging his reputation. These seven are only a fraction of the more than 50 women who have accused Cosby of section assault, drugging or rape. Tonight the embattled comedian tries to change the narrative. Here's ABC's linsey Davis. But he had no right to do that. I had really no idea what was happening. The next thing I remember I was on the couch and he was removing my underwear. Reporter: It's one of the big esscandals to rock Hollywood this year. To date more than 50 women accusing the legendary bill Cosby of sexual assault, drugging, or rain rain. Today bill Cosby is turning the tables saying he's the victim and firing back at seven of the women who are suing him for defamation, accusing them of making false accusations of section a salt for financial gain. We are now taking steps in order to right a wrong. And yes, returning and restoring Mr. Cosby's legacy, reputation, good name, philanthropy endeavors and career. Reporter: The counter suit filed in Massachusetts federal court claims the accusations of sexual misconduct against companies by are defamation in their own right and have tarnished companies by's reputation and career without a shred of proof. We recognize that there is difficulty there in finding witnesses, there's difficulty there in pulling up records, there's difficulty in doing all the things frankly that the media hasn't required these accusers to have to do. Reporter: They claim the allegations made public in the media ruined potential deals for Cosby with netflix and NBC. Joe camerota represents all seven women. They believe they will be found to be the truth-tellers and as a result they will have their good name and reputation restored. Reporter: Cosby's counter suit comes after a federal judge in Massachusetts refused to throw out the women's suit against him. Bill companiesby's effectively upping the ante. Saying next, okay, I'm also going to sue you. Because everything that you've said about me isn't true. Reporter: Barbara bowman, named in the counter suit and one of Cosby's most vocal accusers, has said she's come forward not for personal gain but to help other women. My goal is not to ruin him, take his livelihood away, to witch hunt him. My goal is to speak and to create a safety net for other victims. Reporter: She and a dozen other women told their stories in A&E's documentary "Cosby: The women speak" produced by ABC's Lincoln square productions. He really knew how to zero in on my insecurities and vulnerabilities. Reporter: 1985, bowman was living in Denver, a 17-year-old appearing model and actress. He would come to town and scout for new talent. And I was selected as one of the talent. Reporter: She claims Cosby manipulated her into trusting him and later drugged and sexually assaulted her multiple times. I had one glass of wine. The next thing I knew, I was coming to, slumped over the toilet, throwing up. And he was looming over me in a white robe. And I was in my panties and a white t-shirt. Reporter: She says there was another incident in a hotel in Atlantic City. He attacked me. He came after me. Like a wild animal. And tried to rape me. And I was coherent enough to fight and scratch and scream and cry. And I fought so hard that he eventually just threw me away, off the bed, and he looked me square in the eye and he said, I had better never, ever hear your name or see your face again. Reporter: Bowman said she wide to a girlfriend years later who took her to a lawyer. When I went to a lawyer in '89, he laughed me out of the office. Who's going to believe me? Reporter: Bowman didn't seek logical action within the statute of limitations. But over the year she's told her story to multiple media outlets, an op said entitled "Bill companies by raped me, why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?" Days later Cosby's team said, over the past several weeks discredited allegations against bill Crosby have resurfaced. The fact that they're being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment. Statements like this are at the core of the defamation case. Each of the seven accusers' allegations against Cosby disputed by his representatives, opening the door for legal action in the first place. These paragraphs are suing bill companies by not for the actions themselves, they're getting creative here and saying, we get it but we're still going to sue him for defamation for what his representatives said about us. Reporter: Cosby has never been charged with a crime in regard to any of the accusations lodged against him. And his attorneys have said he denies all allegations. In today's new filing he specifically denies that the statements he or his representatives made about any of the seven women were defamatory, adding that their accusations caused him shame and motorfication. And he was behind me having sex with me. Reporter: Terese, named in the counter suit, spoke to ABC in 2014. She says she was 19 years old when Cosby allegedly drugged and raped her in a Las Vegas dressing room after a show. But she was too intimidated to report it tet. I was sorry all my life that I wasn't more powerful. I'm sorry I put myself in circumstances where I should have known better. Reporter: The circumstances of her relationship with Cosby are complicated. She admits she continued to see him socially and may have had sex with him again but that it was never consensual. I never was an active participant in any section sexual intercourse with him. Reporter: She says she's not interested in seeing Cosby go to prison. The statute of limitations have long expired. But by coming forward she hopes Cosby is held accountable. I'm not a punishing kind of person. I have been sorry for 38 years. And now it's time for him to be sorry. Reporter: Today's counter suit cites Cosby's work as a philanthropist and comedian saying Cosby prides himself in the legacy and reputation he's earned throughout his life. But many of his accusers say it's precisely that on and off-camera reputation as America's dad, the wholesome cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby show," which made so it hard for them to come forward. He's Dr. Huxtable, America's favorite dad. Reporter: Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 26 of the more than 50 women who have come forward are released a statement to ABC news saying, such a tactic will not deter courageous women from fighting the battle against him. Cosby's legal action comes amid a half dozen other legal battles with other accusers and on the same way Boston university announced it's revoking his honorary degree, one of the more than dozen institutes to do so in the past year. You have to believe that bill company Cosby isn't doing it because he wants to win money from these women. You have to believe bill Cosby's doing it to try to get his reputation back. Reporter: According to his attorney companies by is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and it's fair to say there may be more of these def nation lawsuits filed on Cosby's behalf in the future. The problem with filing this lawsuit now is when it comes to the court of public opinion, this lawsuit may be way too late for bill Cosby. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm linsey Davis in New York.
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