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Beverly Johnson’s Bill Cosby nightmare just got worse

Bill Cosby responded to model Beverly Johnson’s drugging accusations with a lawsuit for defamation.

Bill Cosby is continuing to strike back at his accusers. In addition to the countersuits he filed last week against seven of his rape accusers, Cosby filed a lawsuit on Monday, Dec. 21 against former supermodel Beverly Johnson for defamation. In a Vanity Fair essay published in 2014, Johnson accused Cosby of drugging her in the 1980s. She was able to escape before anything else happened.

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According to E! News, Cosby’s lawyers allege in court documents that Johnson “thrust herself back into the spotlight in an attempt to revive her flagging career as a model, actress and public personality” by joining the campaign to “assassinate” Cosby’s reputation.

In the documents, Cosby’s lawyers assert Johnson’s accusations “are entirely fabricated and nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to resuscitate her own career and benefit herself financially from the wave of media attention surrounding her false allegations against Cosby.”

Cosby wants compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a court order to stop Johnson from publicly speaking about the actor.

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Johnson hasn’t commented on the lawsuit.

In an interview with the Today show in December 2014, Johnson spoke about why she decided decades later to break her silence about her experience with Cosby.

“At the time, I felt that it would hurt my career. Most certainly he was a very powerful man. I most certainly did not think of my legacy as the first African-American supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue — and drugged by Bill Cosby.”

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While Cosby has never been arrested and denies all accusations of sexual assault, it’s hard to ignore the sheer volume of accusations.

Cosby is no longer on TV, but he still wields a lot of power. Countersuing women for speaking out is well within his rights, but it’s also a continuation of the assault. Rape is a crime of power and trying to punish women to keep them quiet is wrong. According to RAINN, 68 percent of rapes are unreported because accusers don’t want to be exposed to further victimization.

If Cosby is innocent, then the verdicts in the civil suits should be enough for him. If he is guilty, he is trying to scare his accusers, and in that case, I hope the courts throw the book at him.

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