Pennsylvania accuser tries again to pursue Cosby lawsuit

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former teen actress is appealing a ruling that threw out her defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby that involves claims the actor drugged and molested her.

Renita Hill, 48, argues that Cosby and others defamed her when they challenged accusations made by Hill and other women who went public in 2014.

Cosby, his wife and lawyer made separate statements that painted the women as liars and extortionists, the lawsuit said. Hill argues that the Cosby camp knew the accusations were true.

"All three statements are defamatory because they imply that Ms. Hill lied about being sexually assaulted," lawyer George M. Kontos wrote in the appeal filed Friday to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal judge had dismissed her suit in January after ruling that the Cosby camp's comments were protected by the First Amendment. However, a fellow judge in Massachusetts has allowed a similar defamation suit filed by seven Cosby accusers to move forward.

Cosby remains free on $1 million bail in his Pennsylvania criminal case, where he is charged with drugging and assaulting a Temple University basketball team employee at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004. He has asked an appeals court to dismiss the case.

Hill's lawsuit states that Cosby drugged and molested her, starting when she was 16, after they met on the TV show, "Picture Pages," in 1983. His lawyer did not immediately return messages Friday about the appeal.

About 50 women who have come forward to say Cosby forced unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby, who played Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" from 1984 to 1992, has denied the allegations.

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