Bill Cosby fails to dismiss Judy Huth’s sexual assault civil lawsuit against him, but his lawyer will be able to drop plaintiff again after she recently changed previous testimony about the timing of alleged assault .
During a hearing in a Santa Monica courthouse on Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Callan said he would allow one of Cosby’s attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean, to go further sometime before the jury chooses to start next. Ask Huss and her friend Donna Samuelson. Week.
However, the judge initially ruled that he would deny Cosby’s motion to dismiss the case on prejudice. Cosby’s attorneys filed an emergency motion on May 13 Lawyers at Huth informed them that Huth had recently realized that she was with Cosby at the Playboy mansion in 1975 rather than 1974.
This means that Huth should have been 16 or 17 when Cosby allegedly molested her at the Playboy Mansion, not 15 as she originally claimed.
“We were surprised last week when we learned that the plaintiff in the case changed her account,” Bonjean told reporters after the hearing. “It’s a huge change from what she’s been claiming for the past 20 years. … Now she’s saying, ‘Well, I’m 16 — a month before my 17th birthday. “
“It’s a fundamental change because … it’s very difficult to defend against charges 50 years ago. No one can do it. … It’s called an ambush trial, and the courts are unhappy about it,” Bonjean said.
“Thankfully, this judge admitted to being biased against Mr Cosby, and he gave us the opportunity to remove the plaintiff and his friends from the discovery we were denied.”
The judge also ordered Playboy Enterprises to provide a list of employees from the mid-1970s to see if any of them could attest to how visitor logs were maintained over the years.
Amber Henry, an attorney for Playboy Enterprises, told the judge on Tuesday that they had provided all the information they provided records under Huth’s subpoena.
Henry also said the company has no employees who can attest to how the visitor logs were kept in the 1970s and that the logs, if they still exist, may be in the possession of Hugh Hefner.
“I think the easiest solution is to call and find out,” Judge Callan told Henry before ordering the company to make a list of employees who worked at the mansion in the mid-1970s. “I know that many of the people working there weren’t even born at the time of the incident, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t work hard to find someone who might have that knowledge.”
In her December 2014 complaint, Huth claimed she was 15 and Samuelson was 16 when they first met Cosby while he was filming a movie in Lacy Park in Los Angeles. The women said Cosby asked how old they were when they first met.
Huss said Cosby invited her and Samuelson to the Playboy mansion a few days later and told them they were 19 if asked. Huth alleges Cosby sexually harassed her at the mansion, “putting her hand on her pants, then holding her hand and performing a sexual act on herself without consent.”
John West, one of Huth’s attorneys, argues that his client’s claim remains within the statute of limitations under a 2019 California law that allows victims to “look back” on decades-old child sex acts and file civil action.
“The problem with Ms Bonjean’s argument is that the statute of limitations has been increasing,” West said. “Ms Huth’s claims are timely and Ms Bonjean’s claims are based on legacy law.”
Another lawyer for Huth, Nathan Goldberg, added that his client recently recalled that Cosby had a beard at the time of the attack.
“It was very important because he had a beard twice — in the movies ‘Let’s Do It Again’ and ‘Saturday Night Uptown,'” Goldberg said. “In the picture of them (Huth and Cosby) together, he has a beard.”
“Let’s Do It Again” was released in October 1975, while Cosby’s “Saturday Night Uptown” starring Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier ” was released in 1974.
Bonjean shot back that Huth and Samuelson’s story should not be trusted because they had consulted each other about their new narrative. She questioned Huth’s motives for changing the narrative on the eve of the trial, arguing why Huth didn’t remember that detail when he sold her story to a media outlet in 2005.
“We deny that apparently Mr. Cosby did anything at the Playboy Mansion that would constitute a sexual assault,” Bonjean said after Tuesday’s hearing. “That hasn’t changed. It’s still a question mark whether they can even prove that the meeting at Lacey Park happened or happened the way they say it happened.
“Those (Playboy) records are evidence that not only does Bill Cosby have no guests during this relevant time period … but also tells the stories of others — Peter Lawford, Buck Owens. This is A way to determine, verify authenticity. I can’t do that without a record.”
Opening statements for the week-long trial are scheduled to begin on June 1.
Cosby’s crisis manager representative, Andrew Wyatt, said the comedian would not be at the trial because he is legally blind and travel is too difficult.
“Mr. Cosby is still resilient…he is healthy and ready to get through this so he can move on with his family,” Wyatt said.