Bill Cosby drops lawsuit against accuser

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Bill Cosby has dismissed a federal lawsuit he filed earlier this year against Andrea Constand, his accuser in an upcoming criminal trial, according to a recently released document.

The suit had also named Constand’s mother, attorneys Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz and American Media Inc., owner of the National Enquirer.

In the lawsuit, Cosby alleged the defendants violated a 2006 agreement that settled civil suits Constand had filed against the comedian and American Media.

Cosby said Constand and her attorney Troiani voluntarily cooperated with the Montgomery County district attorney’s criminal investigation into her decade-old sexual assault allegation against the actor and comedian. The 2006 settlement “expressly prohibited” such cooperation, according to Cosby’s lawsuit.

Angela Agrusa, an attorney representing the comedian, said Cosby “has today stepped away from that suit and will instead focus his efforts on defending himself against the claims that have been lodged against him.” The voluntary dismissal action was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Cosby faces a criminal trial on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault from a 2004 case involving Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University. He denies all the charges.

Troiani said the dismissal of the lawsuit was a win for Constand and her mother, Gianna Constand.

“Andrea and Gianna stood firm against this blatant attempt at intimidation and the dismissal is a victory for all victims,” Troiani said in a statement.

The Cosby lawsuit alleged that American Media Inc. continued to publish numerous stories about Constand’s claims regarding Cosby “despite its clear contractual obligations to not publish any stories relating to certain allegations against Mr. Cosby.”

Additionally, Cosby claimed Constand gave an interview to the National Enquirer, which was published in January 2016 — another alleged violation of the settlement.

Dylan Howard, vice president and chief content officer at American Media,Inc., said “we were always confident that AMI had not breached any agreement with Mr. Cosby, and we are pleased that he has decided not to pursue the litigation further.”

More than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct but Costand’s accusations are the first to result in charges being filed.