Cosby testifies for seven hours

Comedian Bill Cosby (above) has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Comedian Bill Cosby (above) has been accused of sexual misconduct.PHOTO: REUTERS

BOSTON • Bill Cosby testified under oath for about seven hours last Friday in response to a civil suit brought by a woman who accuses the comedian of sexually abusing her when she was 15, a lawyer for the plaintiff said last Saturday.

It was the first time Cosby, 78, testified under oath since dozens of women came forward over the past year with accusations of sexual misconduct, some of which date back to the 1960s.

The deposition related to the California civil suit was brought by Judy Huth, who accuses the former star of The Cosby Show of forcing her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974.

The plaintiff's attorney Gloria Allred gave few details of the deposition in Boston, the exact location of which was not disclosed.

"We'll be filing motions with the court in connection with the deposition," she told reporters. "We'll also be seeking to take a further deposition of Mr Cosby at a later date."

She said the deposition, which was to have been videotaped and recorded by a court reporter, lasted from about 9am to 4.30pm with a few breaks, including one for lunch.

Cosby lost a bid last week to stop the case from going forward, though the judge in the case agreed last Wednesday that the transcripts of the deposition should be sealed for at least 60 days.

Both sides have been ordered not to talk about his statements until a hearing scheduled for Dec 22.

Given the judge's order, Ms Allred said she had "no further comment on anything that happened at the deposition of Mr Cosby".

Huth is scheduled to be deposed on Thursday at an undisclosed location.

On Friday, a federal judge, also in Massachusetts, refused to dismiss a separate lawsuit by three women who have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them in the 1970s and later defaming them when, they said, he allowed his representatives to brand them as liars.

The lawyer for the women in that case, Mr Joseph Cammarata, said Friday that he would depose Cosby "at the earliest opportunity".

Cosby has never been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing. Mr Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby, declined to comment last Saturday.

REUTERS, NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2015, with the headline 'Cosby testifies for seven hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe