Renita Hill won the chance to appear alongside the veteran actor on children's TV series Picture Pages in the 1980s after triumphing in a Pennsylvania talent contest. Soon after she was hired, she claims Cosby flew her out to join him on the road as he performed stand-up shows and alleges he drugged her drinks and molested her in hotel rooms while she was passed out.

Hill went public with her story in a U.S. TV interview last year (14), as a string of other accusers came forward with similar alleged experiences, but Cosby's attorneys slammed the accusations and called the credibility of the women into question. Hill is now suing the funnyman for attempting to ruin her reputation and she filed papers in Pittsburgh on Wednesday (14Oct15).

Representatives for Cosby have yet to respond to the latest legal action, which emerges months after a group of other women, including former supermodel Janice Dickinson, also sued for defamation.

More than 50 women have levelled allegations of inappropriate behaviour, drugging and/or rape against Cosby in the past year. The statute of limitations has expired in almost all of the cases, preventing the alleged victims from pursuing prosecution. He has never faced criminal charges over the claims, although he settled one civil suit with Andrea Constand out of court in 2006.

He also recently sat for a deposition relating to accusations made by Judy Huth, who maintains she was just 15 when the embattled comedian reportedly forced himself upon her while at the Playboy Mansion in California in 1974. She is suing for sexual assault.

Meanwhile, three more U.S. colleges have withdrawn honorary awards in light of the sex assault scandal.

Officials at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Tufts University in Massachusetts, and Maryland's Goucher College are all distancing themselves from Cosby's controversy by rescinding various accolades. He has also lost similar prizes from schools including New York's Fordham University, Brown University in Rhode Island and the University of San Francisco in California.