A 72-year-old New Hampshire woman who said that Bill Cosby raped her in 1965 when she worked as a secretary at a Los Angeles talent agency withdrew her defamation lawsuit against the comedian Friday, reports NBC 10 News Philadelphia.
Kristina Ruehli withdrew her civil motion a day after a federal judge allowed that the case could move forward.
Ruehli’s lawyer, Megan Deluhery, told the Associated Press that her client decided not to pursue the case because Cosby now faces criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania and similar civil actions by dozens of other accusers since she first filed suit in November. That, and because she is not getting any younger.
“Ms. Ruehli is 72 and her husband just celebrated his 79th birthday,” Deluhery said. “She will watch the pending cases proceed in solidarity with other survivors, those known and unknown, while returning her focus, if she can, on her daily life and trying to put behind her all the pain this ordeal has caused her.”
In the lawsuit, Ruehli said that Cosby invited her and others to his home. Ruehli, who was then a 22-year-old named Donna Czapla, says she took two drinks from Cosby and passed out, only to wake up naked and in Cosby’s bed. She says Cosby was trying to force her to give him oral sex.
In January, former teen actress Renita Hill’s civil defamation suit was dismissed by a federal judge in Pittsburgh, who ruled that Cosby’s and his spokesperson’s comments about her were protected by the First Amendment.
Ruehli’s lawyer noted that her client’s dismissal, unlike Hill’s, was voluntary and had nothing to do with the merits of the case.