On Thursday, Bill Cosby voluntarily withdrew his lawsuit against accuser Andrea Constand, her mother Gianna, their lawyers, and American Media Inc. (the parent company of the National Enquirer) in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Cosby had filed the lawsuit in February claiming that all of the defendants had violated the terms of a settlement agreement stemming from Constand’s lawsuits against Cosby and American Media.
This doesn’t come entirely as a surprise because earlier this month, the court had upheld Constand’s right to break the confidentiality clause of the settlement agreement in speaking to police about her claims that Cosby sexually assaulted her. That was the basis for her case against Cosby.
American Media was included in the suit because part of the settlement barred them from continuing to cover Constand’s allegations against Cosby. After the number of Cosby accusers going public hit critical mass in late 2014, the media outlet started to cover the story like everyone else.
Cosby’s latest lawyer (he’s fired and hired a few lately) issued the following statement on the voluntary dismissal:
With a court validation of his ability to proceed forward in that action to protect his own rights, 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.
The criminal case, which deals with Constand’s sexual assault allegations, will proceed.