SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A federal judge will hear arguments today in Springfield, Massachusetts on comedian Bill Cosby's request to have dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by three women accusing him of decades-old sex crimes.

Lawyers for Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz say the women's reputations were tarnished when representatives for Cosby strongly denied their allegations as they became public in recent years.

But Cosby's lawyers counter that the "Cosby Show" star was merely acting in "self-defense" because his character was under attack. They say some of the comments are protected speech while others exceed the statute of limitations.

The three women are among more than two dozen who've accused Cosby of incidents of sexual misconduct. Cosby hasn't been charged with any crime.