Can Bill Cosby get any sneakier?
Cosby, whose fortune was once estimated to be $400 million, has his homeowner's policy helping cover his legal costs — or the costs of defending himself against 10 different defamation suits, filed by women who claim he sexually assaulted them, The New York Times reports.
The defendant is able to do this for two main reasons:
- The time it took women to speak up: The alleged sexual assaults happened decades ago and the statute of limitations have long expired. The women who have come forward are thus suing Cosby for defamation—or for being accused of making up lies about the comedian.
- His fancy insurance coverage: Most homeowner’s insurance covers "bodily injury" (for example, someone falls down your stairs and sues you). However, "personal injury" coverage is not uncommon in the insurance contracts of the rich and famous and covers injury to the mind and emotions. Defamation is considered a personal injury.
Cosby's insurer, AIG (aig), is currently paying the legal fees in three of the defamation cases, and in the meantime has taken the entertainer to court. AIG argues that it should not have to cover claims that arose from alleged acts of sexual misconduct because of a “sexual misconduct exclusion” in his policies, reports the Times.
AIG declined Fortune's request for comment. Bill Cosby's representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment. This story will be updated if and when they do.