MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. – A civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon against comedian and actor Bill Cosby (search), FOX News has learned.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the eastern district of Pennsylvania at about 4 p.m. EST, was brought by the 31-year-old woman who recently accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her last year, FOX has learned.
The Montgomery County, Pa. (search), district attorney’s office last month decided not to file criminal charges against Cosby after looking at the woman’s case and concluding there was “insufficient credible and admissible evidence to go forward.”
The woman, a former Temple University employee who now lives in Canada, came forward in January with accusations about the incident she said happened a year before.
"That prosecutor was out of line," said Delores Troiani, an attorney for the woman. "It is not a comment on her credibility, or the evidence in this case."
Cosby recently did an interview with a tabloid publication in which he said what happened between him and the woman was a misunderstanding. He has denied the sexual-assault allegations.
"I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status," Cosby said in the interview with The National Enquirer last week.
Cosby's attorney, John Schmitt, released a statement through the comedian's publicist saying his client "will address this matter through the judicial process and not through the media."
The woman claimed Cosby gave her three blue pills that rendered her semiconscious, then sexually molested her at his home in suburban Philadelphia in January 2004. She said she awoke to find her bra undone and her clothes in disarray.
According to the suit, the woman also said that after the investigation became public, Cosby's representatives falsely told reporters that her family had asked him for money before going to police. She is seeking defamation damages.
"He has compounded it by making it appear as if she tried to extort money from him," Troiani said.
The standards for filing a civil suit are lower than they are to bring criminal charges, but Cosby could still be forced to take the stand.
Other women who have claimed the comedian sexually assaulted or inappropriately touched them could also be called as corroborating witnesses for the woman.
In the Enquirer interview, Cosby was quoted as saying, "Looking back on it, I realize that words and actions can be misinterpreted by another person."
"I'm not saying that what I did was wrong, but I apologize to my loving wife, who has stood by my side for all these years, for any pain I have caused her," he said. The article did not elaborate.
The long-married Cosby, best-known as a warm, wisecracking TV dad, has provoked debate this past year with blunt remarks on personal responsibility aimed at the black community. In 1997, the year his son Ennis was murdered, he acknowledged a brief affair with the mother of Autumn Jackson, a young woman convicted of extorting him.
FOX News' Rita Cosby, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.