Bill Cosby sued supermodel Beverly Johnson for defamation on Monday, the Associated Press reports.
According to TMZ, in his lawsuit, the former "Cosby Show" star says that Johnson is using her story to revive her career. Johnson accused Cosby of drugging and attempting to sexually assault her in the 1980s, claims which the comedian maintains are false.
The celebrity news site also reports that in an attempt to refute Johnson's story -- she says that she was drugged while dining alone with Cosby at his house -- the comedian claims he only ever dined with the model while his wife was present; he never had dinner alone with her.
Cosby's lawsuit, obtained by AP (via Page Six), states:
“[Johnson's] false allegations against Mr. Cosby have been the centerpiece of her attempted resurgence and she has played them to the hilt, repeatedly and maliciously publishing the false accusations in articles, interviews, and television appearances."
In response to the countersuit, Johnson gave the following statement to The Huffington Post (received via email from her publicist):
"I am aware of the statements from Bill Cosby. In cases of rape and abuse, abusers will do whatever they can to intimidate and weaken their victims to force them to stop fighting. I ask for your support of all of the victims involved. Thank you."
This lawsuit against Johnson comes a week after Cosby sued seven of his other accusers, also for defamation.
In that suit, Cosby claimed that the women made "malicious, opportunistic and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him," as well as "knowingly published false statements and accusations."
News of the comedian's lawsuit against Johnson caught the attention of Hollywood filmmaker Judd Apatow, who responded on Twitter with a series of frustrated and disappointed tweets.
This isn't the first time Apatow has spoken out about Cosby and the accusations against him.
This past summer, the author and comedian told Esquire magazine, "We shouldn't need Bill Cosby to admit it to believe 40 people who were victimized by him. I am sure there are many victims who have not come forward. Maybe now more people in show business and all around our country will stand up and tell the people he attacked that we support you and believe you."
He also spoke about the issue during an interview with Marc Maron for the WTF podcast, explaining his reason for continuing to tweet about Cosby.
"One thing that I do know is I'm not comfortable with him running around the country doing stand-up like nothing's happening," Apatow said. "I guess, on some level, I feel like I can't be a part of solving that many problems in the world -- I do my best to get involved where I can be effective -- but this is our neighborhood. [...] I absolutely would like to see him in jail. That's where people who commit sexual assaults go."
More than 50 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault or misconduct against Bill Cosby.
Cosby's lawyers have continually denied the allegations and no criminal charges have ever been filed, though Cosby has testified under oath that he purchased Quaaludes with the intention of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with.
Note: This post has been updated to include Johnson's statement to The Huffington Post.
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