Judge refuses to toss model's defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County courthouse for pre-trial hearings in the sexual assault case against him in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 3, 2016. (Agence France-Presse/Kena Betancur)

Comedian Bill Cosby on Tuesday lost his bid to throw out a defamation lawsuit brought against him and his former lawyer by supermodel Janice Dickinson, clearing the way for a trial in the sensational case, her attorney said.

Dickinson claims in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that Cosby and his ex-attorney Martin Singer defamed her when they asserted in statements to the media that her account of being drugged and raped by Cosby in 1982 was a fabrication.

"It was a big victory for us today and we're very, very pleased," said Dickinson's attorney, Lisa Bloom. "The court ruled that we will go to trial against Bill Cosby. We've been fighting for almost a year so Janice Dickinson can prove her claims of defamation against him."

The attorney representing Cosby in the defamation suit, Christopher Tayback, referred requests for comment on the ruling to a spokeswoman who could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dickinson is one of more than 50 women who have accused Cosby, 78, of sexual assault, often after allegedly plying them with drugs or alcohol in a series of incidents dating back decades.

Most of the alleged assault cases are too old to be cause for criminal prosecution.

Pennsylvania prosecutors late last year filed charges against Cosby related to an alleged 2004 sex assault, just days before the statute of limitations was about to expire. He is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)