Bill Cosby's attempt to dismiss lawsuit against him thrown out

A significant legal development has occurred surrounding Bill Cosby's scandal.

E! News has confirmed that the United States District Court of Massachusetts dismissed the longtime comedian's attempts to throw out a libel lawsuit brought by three women who say he sexually assaulted them.

We're told the court proceedings will continue with depositions and written discovery beginning as early as within the next two weeks, meaning Cosby can and likely will be deposed.

"This is a wonderful day," Joseph Cammarata, Esq, who represents the plaintiffs, told E! News in a statement.

"As we'd expected and hoped, the judge rejected every one of Mr. Cosby's attempts to throw the case out of court and allowed the case to proceed. We will take Mr. Cosby's deposition at the earliest possible moment. My clients look forward to moving the case forward and to restoring their good names and reputations." 

Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz allege that they were victimized by a sexual assault by Cosby. But because of the statute of limitations, they can't sue Cosby for the alleged crime.

Instead, the three women have filed a defamation lawsuit against the actor, claiming their reputations were tarnished when Cosby's reps told news outlets that the rape claims were "fabricated," "ridiculous" and "absurd," among other comments.

The deposition will be the first time Cosby has spoken about the sexual assault allegations against him since a separate case in 2005. Parts of that deposition were unsealed earlier this month. In the deposition, Cosby admitted he gave Quaaludes to a woman and had sex with her.

Cosby was asked by the woman's attorney, "When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?"

He replied, "Yes."

The update on his defamation suit comes on the same day as Dateline's special featuring Cosby's alleged victims.

NBC News National Correspondent Kate Snow sat down with nearly half of his accusers who have come forward publicly, ranging in age from 46 to 80, for an unprecedented conversation about their personal recollections of assault, betrayal and emotional distress.