BOSTON - Bill Cosby on Monday countersued seven women who had sued him in his home state of Massachusetts, saying their accusations of sexual assault have damaged his reputation and occupation.

Attorney Monique Pressley said in a news release she posted on Twitter that Cosby, 78, was suing Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie for “defamation, tortious interference and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

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The Washington, D.C.-based Pressley, one of several attorneys representing the comic, said Cosby “states plainly that he neither drugged nor sexually assaulted the defendants and that each . . . has maliciously and knowingly published multiple false statements and accusations” in an effort to damage his “reputation and to extract financial gains.” The statement assailed what it called the women’s “false, uncorroborated, opportunistic allegations.”

The countersuit itself alleges the women “induced both NBC and Netflix to postpone or cancel their contracts with Mr. Cosby by engaging in a campaign to assassinate Mr. Cosby’s reputation and character. . . . ”

Green in December 2014 had filed a defamation suit against Cosby in a Massachusetts federal court. Serignese and Traitz quickly joined, followed by the remaining four women in November. All are among about 50 women since September 2014 who have accused the comedian of having drugged and sexually abused them decades ago. It is the largest of a half-dozen such civil suits.

The women’s attorney, Washington, D.C.-based Joseph Cammarata, told USA Today, “This was expected,” calling it “a page out of a defense lawyer’s playbook. It’s curious to me how there can be scores of other ladies who have come out, and yet Mr. Cosby has singled out seven of them to bring a claim against. It seems a bit retaliatory to me.”

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He added to The Associated Press, “To suggest that these ladies — each and every one of them — got together and orchestrated a campaign against Mr. Cosby is hard to fathom.”
Cosby, who has denied all allegations and has never been charged with a crime, has not commented.