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Cosby drops suit against accuser

Associated Press Associated Press 29/07/2016

Bill Cosby has dropped a lawsuit that demanded the accuser in his criminal case repay the money from their confidential 2006 court settlement.

Cosby had sued Andrea Constand for breach of contract for speaking to police who reopened the criminal investigation last year. His lawyers argued that her police statements, along with two tweets and brief comments to a Toronto newspaper, violated the confidentiality clause.

A judge this month upheld her right to talk to police, but said Cosby could pursue the other issues. Cosby, though, dropped the suit entirely on Thursday. The move comes a week after he switched law firms for the second time in about a year.

"With a court validation of his ability to proceed ... Mr. 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," his lawyer said in a statement.

The swirl of litigation surrounding Cosby includes the felony sexual-assault case involving Constand and a string of defamation lawsuits filed by women who said they were branded liars when Cosby or his agents denied their similar claims.

Constand's lawyers called the lawsuit Cosby filed against their client "a blatant attempt at intimidation". They had also been named as defendants, along with Constand's mother.

"The dismissal is a victory for all victims," lawyer Dolores Troiani said.

No trial date has been set for Cosby's felony sex-assault trial. He is accused of drugging and molesting Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

Constand sued him in 2005 after prosecutors at the time declined to file charges. The criminal case was reopened after other accusers came forward and Cosby's deposition in the civil suit was released.

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