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Bill Cosby sued for defamation by another accuser

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images file

Kristina Ruehli, the New Hampshire woman who last year accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in 1965, has sued the comedian for defamation, claiming that he falsely called her a liar after she went public with her story.

In a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Massachusetts, Ruehli, 72, reiterates details of the alleged attack she first shared in an interview with Philadelphia magazine and says that Cosby defamed her through a response issued by his lawyer at the time, Martin D. Singer.

In the statement, Singer called Ruehli and other women’s accusations against Cosby “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago,” and said that they “have escalated far past the point of absurdity.”

In the lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, Ruehli says, “It is one thing for an accused sexual assailant to remain silent and allow the legal process, or public opinion, to run its course, but it is quite another for him to unleash his agents to deny that he attacked the plaintiff and other women, to invite others to republish his statements, and to brand them as unreliable liars.”

More than 50 women have accused Cosby, 78, of plying them with drugs or alcohol and sexually assaulting them. In addition to Ruehli, three other accusers are suing Cosby for defamation. Cosby has maintained his innocence and has never been charged with a crime.

Last week a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered Cosby and Singer to give sworn depositions in the defamation lawsuit brought against Cosby by model Janice Dickinson. Renita Hill, Chloe Goins, and Judy Huth are also suing the comedian.

A representative for Cosby declined to comment on Ruehli’s lawsuit. Ruehli’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.