LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Bill Cosby was sued for defamation on Wednesday in Massachusetts by a sexual assault accuser who says he branded her a liar in public statements made through his representatives denying her allegations of abuse.
The eight-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in western Massachusetts, is believed to be the second lawsuit arising from a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against Cosby, 77, by more than a dozen women in recent months.
The plaintiff in Wednesday's suit, Tamara Green has said Cosby sexually assaulted her at her apartment after drugging her during lunch at a Los Angeles cafe in the early 1970s.
Neither Cosby, who resides in western Massachusetts, nor his attorney were immediately available for comment.
The lawsuit says statements of denial by an attorney and a publicist representing Cosby in response to her allegations in recent articles published in Newsweek magazine and the Washington Post were false and defamatory.
The suit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, asserts that Cosby himself is liable for the conduct of his legal and press representatives.
The complaint was filed on Green's behalf by Joseph Cammarata, an attorney who initially represented Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit in the late 1990s against then-President Bill Clinton.
In a statement, he said the defamation suit provides a new avenue for Green, and others accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting them decades ago, to bring their allegations to court without the complications posed by statutes of limitations.
(Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Susan Heavey)