Bill Maher has taken to the courts to say he's the victim of politically incorrect behavior, not the other way around.
The HBO funnyman, who was slapped with a palimony lawsuit earlier this month by an ex-girlfriend, claims he is the target of a seasoned extortionist and not an abusive jerk.
Maher's ex, Coco Johnsen, sued him Nov. 10, after their 10-month relationship petered out. She says she quit her job as a flight attendant and model when Maher promised to buy her J.Lo and Ben Affleck's former house in Beverly Hills, marry her and make her the mother of his children. She also claims she was threatened and abused by the comic as the relationship soured. And the price tag for her suffering: $9 million.
In papers filed Nov. 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Maher says via his lawyers that the accusations are bogus. He describes himself as a "confirmed bachelor" who "never promised to marry [Johnsen] or to have children with her."
Maher also says he is just the latest in a string of victims who have been pegged by Johnsen as easy-money marks. He cited one "unscrupulous scheme" in which his ex falsely accused a former fling in Miami of rape and kidnapping in 1997 in hopes of scoring big cash.
Those charges were ultimately dismissed by a judge due to lack of evidence and conflicting witness accounts, but the alleged attacker, playboy and former model Anwar Zayden, had to spend two weeks in the slammer. He says his reputation was seriously damaged by the incident, and he even filed a suit against the police. "After this case was over, all I wanted was a public apology for what happened, and no one came forward," Zayden told the Miami Herald.
Maher's court papers infer that he is going through the same thing.
"When the dating ended, [Johnsen] launched a campaign to embarrass, humiliate and extort ridiculous sums of money from Bill Maher," his filing reads.
The court papers also claim that Maher "never supported her financially, and he never promised to support her or to purchase any house for her." Additionally, he claims he never abused her or used racial slurs against her, as Johnsen claimed in her lawsuit.
Johnsen's camp could not immediately be reached for comment.
But Team Maher is confident he will be cleared soon."This is a completely frivolous lawsuit filled with false allegations that is part of a pattern by Ms. Johnsen to seek retribution since the end of their short relationship," Maher's attorney, Adam Streisand, said in a written statement earlier this month.
"Mr. Maher is looking forward to having this dismissed by the court."