Bill Cosby drops lawsuit against accuser in sex assault case


Bill Cosby has dropped a lawsuit demanding that the accuser in his sex assault criminal case repay the money from their confidential 2006 court settlement.

The veteran actor and entertainer had sued Andrea Constand for breach of contract for speaking to police who reopened the criminal investigation last year.

His lawyers argued that her police statements, along with two tweets and brief comments to a Toronto newspaper, broke the confidentiality clause.

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

A judge upheld her right to talk to police but said Cosby could pursue the other issues. However Cosby dropped the suit entirely on Thursday, a week after he switched law firms for the second time in about a year.

"With a court validation of his ability to proceed ... Mr Cosby has today stepped away from that suit and will instead focus his efforts on defending himself against the claims that have been lodged against him," his lawyer said in a statement.

The swirl of litigation surrounding Cosby, 79, includes the felony sexual-assault case involving Ms Constand and a string of defamation lawsuits filed by women who said they were branded liars when Cosby or his agents denied their similar claims.

Bill Cosby (Michael Bryant/AP/PA)
Bill Cosby (Michael Bryant/AP/PA)

Ms Constand's lawyers called the lawsuit Cosby filed against their client "a blatant attempt at intimidation". They had also been named as defendants, along with Ms Constand's mother.

"The dismissal is a victory for all victims," lawyer Dolores Troiani said.

Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse after a preliminary hearing
Bill Cosby departs the Montgomery County Courthouse earlier this year (Matt Rourke/AP)

No trial date has been set for Cosby's felony sex-assault trial. He is accused of drugging and molesting Ms Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

Ms Constand sued him in 2005 after prosecutors at the time declined to file charges. The criminal case was reopened after other accusers came forward and Cosby's deposition in the civil suit was released.