Bill Maher: Ex-Girlfriend Is a Con Artist

11/29/2004 at 06:30 PM EST

Bill Maher: Ex-Girlfriend Is a Con Artist
Vince Bucci/Getty
Comedian Bill Maher is striking back at his ex-girlfriend, Nancy Johnson, who sued the HBO talk-show host for $9 million earlier this month.

In papers filed Nov. 23, Maher, 48, labels Johnson an extortionist, calls her claims that he promised to marry her "false and a complete fabrication" and says she has attempted similar money-earning schemes in the past.

"Bill Maher, a confirmed bachelor, and a very public one at that, never promised to marry her (Johnson) or to have children with her," the papers read. "He never supported her financially, and he never promised to support her or to purchase any house for her."

In the court filing, Maher also denies assaulting and making racial slurs against Johnson (also known as Coco), which she has accused him of.

In Johnson's lawsuit, she claims Maher said it would help his career if the pair were seen together as a "power couple." To fit into this role as one-half of a power couple, Johnson says she quit her job as a flight attendant and model. She also says Maher promised to support her for the rest of her life, have children with her and buy her a home once lived in by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Maher denies making those promises and accuses Johnson of inventing the claims.

"When the dating ended, (Johnson) launched a campaign to embarrass, humiliate and extort ridiculous sums of money from Bill Maher," the papers say.

The papers go on to argue that even if Johnson's claims were true, breaking a promise of marriage is not a legitimate basis for a lawsuit.

Johnson's suit asks for $9 million in exemplary damages.

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