A LOT of industries may be downsizing but if you're looking for areas of employment growth, you need look no further than Bill Cosby's legal team.

If they're not hiring now, they will be.

Tamara Green, who accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the comedian, alleging he "publicly branded" her a liar through statements made by his lawyer and publicist when she spoke out about his alleged conduct in 2005.

Green said in the suit filed in federal court in Springfield, Mass., that Cosby drugged and assaulted her when she was an aspiring model and singer. She said yesterday that she hoped the suit would help her finally establish the truth about what happened.

Green's claims about the alleged attack were covered in 2005 by Nicole Weisensee Egan in your favorite newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily News. After Green spoke out, Cosby's lawyer and publicist made statements intended to expose her to public contempt and ridicule, she says in her lawsuit.

The attorney, Walter M. Phillips Jr., declined to comment. He said he represented Cosby in 2005, but no longer does so. Messages left for the publicist, David Brokaw, weren't immediately returned.

Cosby is the lawsuit's only defendant.

He has never been charged in connection with any sexual assault allegations.

In 2005, the Cos did settle a civil case filed by Andrea Constand, a former employee at Temple University. (She could have gone anywhere. She chose court.) Green was one of a dozen women prepared to testify in Constand's suit that Cosby sexually assaulted them.

Through his 24/7 reps, Cosby has denied renewed allegations by women alleging decades-old assaults.

Green's attorney, Joseph Cammarata, yesterday held a news conference in Washington, D.C., and Green appeared via video.

She said it was important for her to prove that she is not lying.

"All of this time, there's always been a slight doubt in everyone's mind as to the veracity of any of the allegations that have been made against Bill Cosby because he's a rich and powerful and famous man," Green said. "So this will give me and other women if they take advantage of this opportunity . . . this will give us a chance to go to a forum where we will speak our stories and tell our truth. And the most important thing is that Bill Cosby will be required to appear in court and to speak, and he will finally be heard."

Cosby attorney Martin Singer, said of Green's lawsuit: "We are very confident that we will prevail in this proceeding and we will pursue claims against the attorneys who filed this action."

TATTBITS

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of "Scandal," "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away With Murder" thanked her female predecessors yesterday as she accepted the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award yesterday at the Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment breakfast.

The 23rd annual event also featured a tribute to Joan Rivers by Melissa Rivers and Sarah Silverman.

Melissa, speaking publicly for the first time since her mother's death in September, described Joan as a woman who loved to make people laugh and conquered any fears she had to do so.

Had Joan been at the event, Melissa joked, "She would be sitting at the table beaming, while discreetly shoving croissants and silverware in her purse."

* In other Joan news, she left Melissa, in charge of her fortune and left money for some of her favorite charities, including Guide Dogs for the Blind, Jewish Guild Healthcare, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the New York-based food pantry God's Love We Deliver.

According to Rivers' 2014 will, filed in New York State Surrogate's Court, the late comedienne made Melissa her will's executor with "the broadest and most absolute permissible direction" over a fortune that has been estimated as high as $150 million. Specifics of her assets and how they will be divided haven't been disclosed.

Bequests were made to her assistants, Sabrina Lott and Jocelyn Pickett, her publicist Scott Currie, and Rivers' niece and nephew, Caroline Waxler and Andrew Waxler.

* CBS announced yesterday that David Letterman will host his final "Late Show" on May 20.

Out of respect, Fallon, Kimmel and Conan should take that night off.

Sam Smith was named MTV's best artist of 2014.

Who knew MTV still cared about music.

Iggy Azalea is among the stars joining ABC's bicoastal "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2015."

Making the show especially bi-coastal, Iggy's curvy top half will sing on the West Coast, while her curvy bottom half will shake on the East Coast.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

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