Woman tells jury Bill Cosby forced her to perform sex act

A 2018 photo shows US actor Bill Cosby arriving at a Pennsylvania court to face sentencing for sexual assault. PHOTO: AFP

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - A woman who accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in the mid-1970s took the witness stand on Tuesday (June 7) in a civil lawsuit and said the actor and comedian forced her to perform a sex act when she was a teenager.

Judy Huth, who is seeking unspecified damages, said she had gone to the famous mansion in Los Angeles at Cosby's invitation after she and a friend met him days earlier at a park where he was filming a movie.

When she emerged from a bathroom, Huth said she saw Cosby sitting on a bed. He patted the bed next to her and she sat next to him, she said.

Breaking into tears, Huth said the actor tried to put his hands down her pants. When she told Cosby she was menstruating, he stood up and pulled down his pants, she said. Huth said he then placed her hand on his penis and masturbated "with my hand."

She said Cosby acted "forcefully."

"It was not what I wanted at all," she said, adding "I was freaking out."

In her lawsuit, Huth, now 64, previously said the incident occurred in 1974, when she was 15, but recently said she now believes it was 1975.

The civil trial in California, one of the last legal cases against Cosby, is taking place 11 months after Cosby was freed from prison when Pennsylvania's highest court threw out his sexual assault conviction in a different case.

Cosby's lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said during opening statements that the alleged assault of Huth was a "fabrication," though Cosby did not dispute that he invited Huth and her friend to the mansion.

"The evidence is going to show that Ms Huth is not telling the truth," Bonjean said.

Plaintiff Judy Huth arrives for opening statements in her civil suit against Bill Cosby, on June 1, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Cosby, 84, is not expected to attend the trial.

He is best known for his role as the lovable husband and father in the 1980s television comedy series The Cosby Show, earning him the nickname "America's Dad."

But his family-friendly reputation was shattered after more than 50 women accused him of sexual assaults over nearly five decades.

In 2018, Cosby was found guilty of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, an employee at Temple University, his alma mater, in Philadelphia, in his home in 2004.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court overturned Cosby's conviction in June 2021, after he had served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence.

The court said Cosby should not have faced the charges because a previous district attorney had publicly promised in 2005 not to prosecute him. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review that decision.

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