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This combination photo shows Bill Cosby leaving Montgomery County Courthouse after a hearing in his sexual assault case in Norristown, Pa., on Aug. 22, 2017, left, and model Janice Dickinson leaving Los Angeles Superior Court after a judge ruled her defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby on March 29, 2016. Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby can move forward after the California Supreme Court refused an appeal from Cosby. The court said on its website Thursday that it was declining to review Cosby’s appeal, which had put the case on hold. Dickinson said in 2014 that Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982, then sued him after he and his representatives said her claims were false. (AP Photo)

Janice Dickinson's lawsuit against Bill Cosby can proceed

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Model Janice Dickinson's defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby can move forward after the California Supreme Court refused to review an appeal from the comedian Thursday.

The case had been on hold pending the court's decision. Dickinson said in 2014 that Cosby drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982, then sued him after he and his representatives said her claims were false.

Cosby's attorneys had appealed Dickinson's use of a press release and a letter to media outlets as evidence of defamation, saying that would violate First Amendment rights.

Attorneys also objected to Dickinson adding a former Cosby lawyer, Marty Singer, as a defendant, saying it would hurt the ability of attorneys to represent their clients.

A California appeals court sided with Dickinson in November. The Supreme Court refusing to take up the appeal means the case can move forward with Singer as a co-defendant.

"While we believe the Supreme Court should have reviewed the erroneous appellate court opinion, we now have the opportunity to address these claims on the merits and fully expect that Mr. Singer will be dismissed from the lawsuit again," Singer's lawyer, Jeremy B. Rosen, said in an email.

Dickinson's attorney, Lisa Bloom, said she also looks forward to resuming the battle in court.

"We have been fighting this case for three years and we will continue fighting until we get Mr. Cosby's deposition, until Ms. Dickinson gets a trial before a jury, and on any further appeals as necessary," she said in an email. "Ms. Dickinson is strong and I am committed to this case."

An attorney for Cosby did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment.

Dickinson, a major model in the 1980s and 1990s, has more recently become a staple of reality shows, appearing on "America's Next Top Model," ''The Surreal Life," and "Celebrity Big Brother."

Her lawsuit is one of many against Cosby, who also is scheduled to face a new trial on sexual assault charges in Philadelphia next month.

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