L.A. Superior Court judge today delivered a major blow to the disgraced actor. The Cosby Show’s star’s desire to shut down part of Janice Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against him will have to fight on another day. The court is requesting the parties to submit further briefing,” said Judge Debre Weintraub Monday morning in a measured ruling on the anti-SLAPP motion that the actor’s lawyers have moved for in Dickinson’s nearly year-long case against him. At the heart of the defamation case are the press releases made by Cosby’s now former attorney Marty Singer in late November 2014 branding Dickinson a “liar.” After being added to case as a defendant in an amended complaint, the Hollywood heavyweight lawyer was removed from the matter on February 9. The remaining parties are now all expected back in the judge’s courtroom on March 29.
Dickinson’s lawyer Lisa Bloom said after the hearing that “we’re happy to provide further evidence in the case.” She added, with her client mere feet away, “All Janice Dickinson wants is her day in court against Bill Cosby.”
The free speech and anti-SLAPP motion made late last year brought a stay in the case that Dickinson’s main lawyer Bloom soon challenged and had lifted by the judge. Additionally, a November 2 Judge Weintraub-ordered deposition of Cosby and Singer was put on hold by the Appeals Court and the matter was shifted by to the lower court until the anti-SLAPP motion is determined.
Today’s kick-it-down-the-road hearing comes just over a week before Cosby’s March 8 preliminary hearing in Pennsylvania in a criminal case that could see him behind bars for up to ten years. The charges stem from an alleged 2004 drugging and sexual assault of Andrea Constand by Cosby in his mansion just outside Philadelphia. While the then-D.A. declined to press charges, the matter did move to a civil case that was resolved in 2006 with a confidential settlement.