Lawyers for Bill Cosby to ask federal judge to dismiss defamation lawsuit
Actor Bill Cosby speaks at the National Action Network's 20th annual Keepers of the Dream Awards gala in New York April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

Attorneys for Bill Cosby plan to ask a federal court judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against the comedian in Massachusetts by three women who said he called them liars when they accused him of sexual assault.

Cosby, 77, and attorneys for the women who brought the suit said in a court filing late Tuesday that they met twice this month with an eye toward resolving the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts.

They also said they would file a motion to dismiss by Friday.

The lawsuit contends that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted the three in the 1970s and later called them liars when confronted about the claims.

Cosby, who hit the peak of his fame in the 1980s when he played Heathcliff Huxtable on NBC's "The Cosby Show," has recently been hit with a raft of allegations that he sexually assaulted women.

More than a dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. He has never been criminally charged and through his lawyers has denied all the sexual assault claims.

Over the past month he has canceled scheduled standup performances in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and California.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Lambert)