No En Banc Rehearing for Cosby Defamation Accuser

By George Khoury, Esq. on January 05, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In a not so surprising turn of events, Bill Cosby has caught another break in court. However, the pudding pop pusher's break is less a win for him, and more a loss for one of his accusers, Katherine McKee.

McKee filed a defamation action after Cosby's lawyers pretty much called her a liar. The liar aspersion cast by Cosby's lawyers related to McKee's recounting of a story from 1974 where she claims Cosby raped her by force in his hotel room. Interestingly, McKee's allegations do not involve drugging, which allegedly is Cosby's M.O.

The district court dismissed McKee's defamation claim, and the First Circuit affirmed, basically explaining that she placed herself in the public spotlight of a rather controversial issue. Upon pressing the circuit for reconsideration, McKee received none.

No En Banc Rehearing

The First Circuit refused Katherine McKee's request for a rehearing with the full First Circuit panel of judges in a brief order authored by a clerk of the court. The order simply explains that a majority of judges voted against rehearing, and thus, the request was denied. This leaves McKee with no other option but to petition SCOTUS or accept the dismissal of her defamation claim against Cosby.

Despite Cosby continually coming up on the winning side of the McKee case, there is a similar defamation action pending in Massachusetts brought by seven other women, as well as another similar defamation action in California.

Further, Cosby still faces criminal charges relating to the one accuser whose allegations of rape did not fall outside the statute of limitations. The original trial ended in a deadlocked jury and mistrial, however the court approved a retrial. That retrial is expected to occur this year.

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