Bill Cosby has won at least a temporary delay of efforts by three Massachusetts women to unseal material from an earlier sexual-molestation lawsuit in Pennsylvania that he settled.

The three women allege the comedian defamed them when his agents denied that he had sexually abused them in the 1970s.

They hope the lawyer for a woman who settled the Pennsylvania case against Cosby in 2006 can support their claims. They have subpoenaed her. Cosby wants the subpoena quashed.

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A federal judge in Philadelphia agreed Thursday to put the subpoena on hold. U.S. District Judge John Padova agreed to wait until a Massachusetts court decides whether to throw out the women's defamation lawsuit before he rules on the subpoena.

The plaintiffs in Massachusetts are Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz.

They are seeking documents from the case Cosby settled with a woman he knew from her then-job with Temple University's basketball program. The woman said Cosby had drugged and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia home. Terms of that settlement, along with some court filings, have remained sealed.

Cosby, 77, has publicly denied wrongdoing amid complaints from dozens of women who have stepped forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. He has not been charged with a crime.