U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

Cosby Wins Defamation Case and His Lawyers Celebrate Online

Bill Cosby won a case and his lawyers are proud of it. Really?

Even as Hollywood's sexual predators are getting shamed in the media, Cosby's lawyers have no shame about their client's pyrrhic victory. Their press release was posted on the entertainer's Facebook page.

"Allen A. Greenberg of the Los Angeles-based firm Greenberg Gross LLP successfully argued on behalf of Mr. Crosby," the release said. Is this that rare occasion when good press is bad press?

Different Results

The case grew out of Cosby's well-known problems with women. Kathrine McKee was one of them.

In 2014, she told The Daily News that he raped her while they were attending a party. Cosby's lawyers at the time responded by demanding the newspaper retract the story.

McKee then sued for defamation, claiming the demand suggested her story was "impossible." The letter also pointed to the "criminal background" of the accuser.

A federal judge dismissed McKee's lawsuit, and the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part because she put herself in the public spotlight. "McKee took concerted steps meant to influence the public's perception of whether Cosby was, in fact, a sexual predator," the court said in McKee v. Cosby.

Same Story

The lawyers will take the win for now, but Cosby's trials are far from over. He faces another defamation suit in Massachusetts and a criminal trial in Pennsylvania.

The criminal case is coming around for a second time after a mistrial in June. In that case, Andrea Constand claims the entertainer drugged and raped her.

More than 60 women have made similar claims in the press, but only Constand has pursued criminal charges. Cosby says their relationship was consensual.

But like Harry Weinstein, who will likely never work in Hollywood again, Cosby's entertainment days are well behind him. Even his Facebook fame is fading.

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