Cosby sex accuser ‘tried to extort money’

Los Angeles

Cosby sex accuser ‘tried to extort money’

A woman suing Bill Cosby for sexual battery attempted to sell a story about the comedian to a tabloid a decade ago and tried to extort money in exchange for her silence, Cosby’s attorney said in a court filing.

Attorney Martin Singer wrote in the filing that the lawsuit by Judy Huth and her attorney followed a failed attempt to extort $250,000 (€203,000) from Cosby. In the filing, Cosby seeks more than $33,000 from Huth and her attorney.

The filing comes just days after Huth sued, claiming the comedian forced her to perform a sex act in 1974 when she was 15. The incident occurred in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion after Cosby gave Huth and a 16-year-old friend alcohol, according to her lawsuit.

“(Huth’s) claims are absolutely false,” Cosby’s filing states.

The filings state that Singer and Huth’s attorney, Marc S Strecker, had several conversations about the allegations in the weeks before the lawsuit was filed. Strecker first demanded $100,000, then raised the demand to $250,000 in order to keep from filing a lawsuit on Huth’s behalf, Singer wrote.

Her lawsuit stated she only recently discovered that she had suffered psychological damage as a result of the incident, which under California law would allow filing of the case.

Cosby’s response, however, notes that Huth unsuccessfully tried to sell her story a decade ago and that her lawsuit was not accompanied by a certification from a psychologist that the trauma was newly discovered. The certification is required for the case to proceed under rules that extend the statute of limitations, Cosby’s filing states.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck also said that the department would investigate any reports of abuse, even if they were outside the statute of limitations for prosecution. Beck said the department has no investigations into the comedian.

In recent weeks, more than a dozen women have alleged that Cosby drugged them and sexually assaulted them.

Since the allegations arose in early November, Cosby’s career has suffered. NBC cancelled a comedy in development, Netflix postponed a special and performances have been cancelled in at least nine cities in his current tour of the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been vandalised with graffiti. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that clean-up work was under way on the Los Angeles attraction.

Houston television station KRIV Fox 26 posted a photo it said it received from a viewer yesterday with the word “Rapist” scrawled three times on Cosby’s star.

The comedian’s star was placed on the Walk of Fame, a California state landmark, in 1977.

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