Bill Cosby sues accusers, stripped of honorary degree

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5/18/14 - Boston, Massachusetts Honorary degree recipient Bill Cosby stands with Trustee Robert Hildreth, right, before the 2014 Boston University Commencement at Nickerson Field on May 18, 2014. Photo by Mike Spencer for Boston University Photography

Boston University has revoked an honorary degree bestowed last year upon Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. The school’s full statement is below.

The action happens just as Cosby has sued some of his accusers, claiming they have made “malicious, opportunistic, false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against him,” TMZ reports.

“The comedian is claiming emotional distress against Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie … claiming the allegations of drugging and then sexually assaulting them is flatly untrue,” TMZ reports.

Read more:MORE: Atlanta’s Spelman College ends professorship tied to Cosby

Lawsuit filed stemming from Cosby’s show at Cobb Energy Center


Photo by Mike Spencer for Boston University Photography

Photo by Mike Spencer for Boston University Photography

Boston University posted this statement:

“After careful consideration, the Boston University Board of Trustees has voted to revoke the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree that was conferred on Bill Cosby at the University’s Commencement ceremony in May 2014. The Board’s decision was based on a determination, supported by Mr. Cosby’s sworn deposition testimony, that his treatment of women has brought significant and lasting discredit upon himself and is inconsistent with the University’s mission and values. Mr. Cosby’s admitted conduct, which the University learned about only after awarding him the degree, demonstrates that his character fails to reflect the integrity and virtues that the University values and esteems in members of its community, and in those persons the University holds up for this particular honor.”

The move is the latest by organizations seeking to distance themselves from Cosby.

Earlier this year Atlanta’s Spelman College confirmed that it has canceled a professorship associated with Bill Cosby and returned the money after the Associated Press and the New York Times obtained documents in which Cosby detailed his provision of drugs to young women with whom he wanted to have sex. Cosby has denied wrongdoing.

Elsewhere, the Berklee College of Music removed Cosby’s name from a scholarship, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst said Cosby would leave a $300 million fundraising campaign, of which he was honorary co-chair. Temple University last year announced Cosby would step down from its board of trustees.

Contributing: Ariel Hart

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