Bill Cosby’s attorneys could not convince a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday to throw out a lawsuit accusing the comedian of molesting a woman at the Playboy Mansion in 1974 when she was 15, setting the stage for his deposition in the case later this week.
Judge Craig D. Karlan ruled Wednesday that Judy 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.
A deposition in the case is scheduled Friday, but whether the details will be made public remains up in the air. The judge has issued an initial protective order that forbids disclosure of details of the deposition. Karlan indicated that the deposition would be kept confidential until at least Dec. 22, when a hearing on the matter will be held.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who now represents Huth, had been fighting the effort to bar disclosure of the details of the deposition. Last week, she said, she was barred from discussing it, including its location.
Attorneys for Cosby have argued that Allred is using the case for public attention. Allred represents 26 women who claim 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.
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 L.A. 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 last 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 LAPD and are being reviewed by prosecutors.
For more Southern California crime news, follow @lacrimes.