LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California appeals court has put on hold the scheduled deposition of Bill Cosby in the defamation lawsuit brought by a former supermodel who said the comedian called her a liar after she went public with allegations of rape, her attorney said on Thursday.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge had ruled that Cosby, 78, and his former attorney, Martin Singer, would be required to give sworn testimony this month in a lawsuit brought by onetime model and reality TV personality Janice Dickinson.
Cosby's legal team has challenged the ruling, and the 2nd District Court of Appeal has put off the deposition while arguments continue, Dickinson's attorney Lisa Bloom said in a statement.
"We are confident that once the court of appeals hears full argument on the issues it will allow the deposition of Mr. Cosby and his attorney to go forward," the statement said.
Dickinson, 60, is one of more than 50 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexually assaulting them after plying them with drugs or alcohol.
The comedian, best known for his role in the 1980s "The Cosby Show," has denied the allegations.
Cosby has never been criminally charged and many of the alleged incidents date back decades, including Dickinson's, putting them beyond the statute of limitations.
But Dickinson is seeking damages on grounds she was defamed by Cosby and Singer when they publicly asserted her account of being drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982 was a fabrication.
Dickinson did not report the incident to police.
The suit is one of several separate actions brought by women contending defamation, saying the actor had wrongly claimed the women he had sexually assaulted had lied about the incidents.
On Monday, a New Hampshire woman sued Cosby saying he falsely accused her of lying last year when she publicly charged he raped her in 1965.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Michael Perry)