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Supreme Court won't take up dispute involving Bill Cosby

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 19, 2019 12:33 PM
Bill Cosby sentencing.jpg

Bill Cosby arrives for his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(Washington) -- The Supreme Court is declining to revive a defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby that was filed by a woman who says he raped her and later spread lies about her when she came forward.

The high court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from actress Kathrine McKee, who said Cosby raped her in 1974. McKee sued Cosby for damaging her reputation after a lawyer for the comedian allegedly leaked a letter attacking McKee. Two lower courts ruled against her and dismissed the case.

Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the Supreme Court's action, but called for the court to reconsider the very high standard a public figure needs to meet to win a defamation case. That standard was laid out in the landmark New York Times v. Sullivan case in 1964.

More: Bill Cosby says he "will never have remorse" for the sexual encounter that sent him to prison

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