US Comedian Bill Cosby has filed a counterclaim in Massachusetts against seven women for defamation. Cosby says the women have made false accusations of sexual misconduct against him.
In his suit filed on Monday at the US District Court in Massachusetts, Cosby said the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations" of sexual harassment against him.
Naming the parties in the lawsuit as Tamara Green et al vs. William Henry Cosby Jr., the comedian claimed that the women defamed his "honorable legacy and reputation" through their complaints.
Cosby said the ladies, who filed a suit alleging sexual misconduct against the comedian, "engaged in a campaign to assassinate" his reputation and character. He said their campaign was "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him."
The 78-year-old, best known for the 1980s television hit, "The Cosby Show," is seeking unspecified financial damages.
'War against women'
"Bill Cosby appears to be going to war against women who have sued him in Massachusetts and who allege that he has victimized them," attorney Gloria Allred, who was representing several women allegedly assaulted by the comedian, told Reuters news agency. "Such a tactic will not deter courageous women from fighting the battle against him, she added.
The first lawsuit against Cosby was filed a year ago, accusing him of libel, assault and slander - after the filer of that suit had made accusations of sexual harassment against the entertainer.
The women suing Cosby in Massachusetts are among some 60 individuals accusing the star of rape or inappropriate sexual contact after he drugged them. Several of these incidents occurred decades ago.
Cosby has denied any wrongdoing on his part, although he admitted in 2005 that he tried to give a drug popular in the 1970s, Quaaludes, to women he intended to have sex with.
mg/gsw (Reuters, AP)