Bill Cosby, Gloria Allred to face off in deposition over molestation claims
Bill Cosby is expected to face tough questions from attorney Gloria Allred Friday in a deposition about allegations he molested her client at the Playboy Mansion when she was a 15-year-old.
The deposition contents, however, won’t be made public until at least Dec. 22 as Judge Craig D. Karlan, who is overseeing the Judy Huth lawsuit against the comedian, wants to ensure he can review the transcript and allow both sides to argue their case about how much if anything becomes public.
Everything about the deposition is a secret. Allred told The Times she could not even disclose where Friday’s deposition will occur.
Meanwhile, the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests will protest and pass out leaflets outside downtown L.A.'s main civil courts to express support for Cosby’s possible victims and call for changes to what they say are “archaic predator friendly statutes of limitations” that prevent molesters from being prosecuted or sued years after the acts.
Cosby’s attorneys were unable to convince a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday to throw out the lawsuit accusing the comedian of molesting a girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15, setting the stage for his deposition in the case later this week.
Karlan ruled Wednesday that Huth’s lawsuit against Cosby could proceed. The judge rejected claims by his lawyers that the suit incorrectly named the performer when California rules governing older cases forbid such action.
The judge has issued an initial protective order that forbids disclosure of details of the deposition.
Allred, who represents Huth, had been fighting the effort to bar disclosure of the details of the deposition.
Attorneys for Cosby have argued that Allred is using the case for public attention. Allred represents 26 women who contend they were sexually abused by Cosby over the decades. Many of those women have alleged the comedian drugged them before nonconsensual sexual acts. Altogether, about 50 women have accused Cosby of various acts of sexual misconduct.
Cosby’s attorney has denied the allegations.
Huth alleges that she and a friend were in San Marino’s Lacy Park in 1974 when they wandered over to a movie set where Cosby was working, the lawsuit said. He approached the teenagers, invited them to sit in his director’s chair and asked how old they were, the lawsuit said. Cosby invited the girls to his Los Angeles County tennis club the following Saturday, it said.
They met him there, then followed him to a house, where he served them alcoholic beverages and played billiards with Huth, who was required to drink a beer every time Cosby won a game, the lawsuit said. Later, the girls followed Cosby to the Playboy Mansion, where the comedian told Huth and her friend to say they were 19 if anyone asked their ages, the lawsuit said.
At one point, Huth used a bathroom and emerged to find Cosby sitting on a bed, the lawsuit alleges. The comedian asked the girl to sit down on the bed beside him and attempted to “put his hand down her pants,” according to the lawsuit.
He then took her hand in his and performed a sexual act on himself “without her consent,” the lawsuit said.
Huth’s lawsuit, filed in December, is the first significant court case against Cosby since he was sued in 2005 by Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee. After being deposed, Cosby settled the case out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Cosby’s attorneys contend that Huth once tried to sell her story to the National Enquirer and that it is “absolutely false.” They contend that another lawyer for Huth tried to get up to $250,000 from Cosby.
This week another woman, Chloe Goins, sued Cosby in federal court, claiming she also was molested by the comedian at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. Her allegations were investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department and are being reviewed by prosecutors.
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