Judge Delays Bill Cosby’s Deposition, Orders Wife to Give Evidence
A Massachusetts judge has ordered Bill Cosby’s wife Camille to sit for a deposition in the actor’s defamation case in February. The Cosby Show veteran is fighting legal action from seven women, who have accused the comedian and his legal team of dismissing them as liars after they came forward with decades-old allegations of sexual assault against the 78-year-old.
Mrs. Cosby tried to avoid the deposition by citing the state’s marital disqualification law, which prevents anyone from testifying against a spouse, but she lost her bid in December and was due to be deposed last week. Her lawyers filed an emergency appeal, prompting U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy to delay the questioning pending a review of the challenge. The motion was dismissed in court on Wednesday, when the judge set a date of February 22 for plaintiffs to quiz Mrs. Cosby about what she may or may not have known about the sex accusations made against her husband over the past 50 years. Meanwhile, the judge also decided to hold off on Cosby’s deposition for the time being, as he is currently fighting criminal charges in Pennsylvania relating to an alleged attack on Andrea Constand, an employee at his alma mater, Temple University, in 2004. However, when Cosby is finally deposed, much of his testimony will be made available to the public after Judge Hennessy rejected the defense’s proposal for a “blanket protective order” to keep the evidence sealed. More than 50 women have gone public with accusations of inappropriate behavior, drugging and/or rape against Cosby since October 2014. The fallen funnyman has maintained his innocence throughout, although in a deposition given as part of a 2005 civil suit filed by Constand, he did confess to obtaining sedatives called Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with. That testimony was only made public in July, almost a decade after the case was settled out of court, and prompted Pennsylvania authorities to reopen their criminal investigation, which led to his charge of aggravated indecent assault. He is currently free on $1 million bail and is due to appear in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing. His lawyers are currently attempting to have the case dismissed amid allegations a prosecutor broke a promise not to press charges over the embattled comedian’s encounter with Constand.