LOS ANGELES - Veteran comic Bill Cosby counter-sued a woman Thursday who says he sexually abused her, accusing her of trying to extort up to $250,000 from him in exchange for dropping legal action.
In the counter-suit after the woman this week alleged that Cosby assaulted her in 1974, Cosby's lawyer claimed she tried to sell her story to the media a decade ago, undermining her legal case.
Judy Huth, 55, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, claiming sexual battery and infliction of emotional distress in the alleged assault at the Playboy Mansion four decades ago.
Specifically she alleged that Cosby "proceeded to sexually molest her by attempting to put his hand down her pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent."
But Cosby's Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer said in legal documents filed Thursday that Huth's attorney called him on November 25, initially offering to not proceed with legal action in exchange for US$100,000 (S$131,162).
The demand came as new sex abuse allegations against Cosby were surfacing almost daily, and on November 26 Singer spoke again by phone with Huth's lawyer Marc S Strecker.
"Strecker increased his financial demand from $100,000 and demanded that his client be paid $250,000 in exchange for his client refraining from pursuing criminal or legal claims or going to the media with her claims," Singer wrote.
Separately, Cosby's lawyer sought to undermine a key part of Huth's legal claim: under California law she had to prove that she had only become consciously aware of the alleged sex abuse within the last three years.
"The only way that an alleged victim of childhood sexual abuse would be able to assert an otherwise time-barred claim is to allege that the psychological injury... had been repressed and was only discovered within the last three years," he wrote.
But he said Huth had "unsuccessfully tried to sell her story to the tabloids nearly a decade ago. This fact belies the allegation... that plaintiff only just discovered the basis for her claims within the past three years."
Around 20 women have now accused the 77-year-old Emmy and Golden Globe winner of sexual assault and even rape in alleged incidents dating mostly from decades ago.
Cosby is world famous for his role in "The Cosby Show" that aired in the 1980s and 1990s.