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Bill Cosby's shocking legal strategy: Why it might actually work

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Bill Cosby's scorched-earth policy against his accusers is disgusting and successful

Bill Cosby reportedly ordered private investigators to dig up dirt on his alleged victims with the aim of discrediting them on the basis of their reputations. The scary thing is, it just might work.

In a scene straight out of the 1950s, Cosby ordered his PR team to engage in character assassination against the women who claimed he sexually assaulted them, hoping to dig up any dirt that would make them look less believable.

According to the New York Post, Cosby is paying six-figure fees to a private investigations firm for dirt on his accusers, which is being passed to his pit bull attorney Marty Singer — who in turn has implemented a scorched-earth policy against the women.

"If you're going to say to the world that I did this to you, then the world needs to know, 'What kind of person are you? Who is this person that's saying it?'" Cosby said in a meeting with his legal and PR teams, a source who was present told the Post. "The strategy isn't new and it's quite simple: You say I'm a bad guy, well, let's see what gives you the right to throw a stone at my house when your home is also made of glass."

So far it's working — at least in the court of public opinion. When Janice Dickinson came forward with her harrowing account of allegedly being drugged and raped by Cosby, many internet commenters scoffed, accusing her of using an opportunity to smear the icon's name as way to resuscitate her own career and/or pointing at her history of substance abuse as proof that she either wanted it or couldn't possibly remember one man she slept with years ago.

But then came Beverly Johnson: An icon in the black community, a role model for all women and successful entrepreneur in her own right with an impeccable reputation, both personally and professionally. How could anyone doubt her?

Don't worry, Cosby already has a plan for her, too.

More: Bill Cosby rape accusations: A timeline of his career downfall

The source told the Post Cosby said in the meeting, "You can't say that I put something in your coffee, threw you in a cab and then you go on and live a high-profile life, a famous life and you never complain. You mean you never reported it to the police? You never tell anyone?"

There's a million reasons why victims of sexual abuse don't come forward, but Cosby's legal team is taking it one step further and using later conversations — or the lack thereof — as "proof" that the alleged victims are lying.

"It's sort of worked to some degree already," another insider told the Post. "They were able to find out information about Beverly Johnson's boyfriend who said she only had good things to say about Cosby. We found out that Beverly never told her live-in lover of several years what she's now telling the media and we found that to be strange."

Tell us: Is Cosby's strategy fair or messed up?

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