After getting out of giving another deposition last month in one of the many cases against him, Bill Cosby today took some hits on both sides of the country. In Worcester, MA, a federal judge Tuesday rejected attempts by Cosby’s lawyers to block a second deposition by the actor’s wife and business manager Camilla Cosby in a defamation suit filed by several women who claim the actor sexually assaulted them.
While not responding to a number of questions poised by lawyers, Mrs.
Camille Cosby gave her first deposition under oath on February 22 in the case first filed by Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, and Angela Leslie on December 10, 2014. Cosby lawyers tried and failed to stop that deposition too. Cosby’s wife did not respond to several questions poised by the lawyers.
Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy today ordered Camille Cosby to sit for a second deposition on April 19 in Boston. The under-oath session is to last for no more than 5 hours and 45 minutes, according to the judge, who imposed some restrictions upon the questions the alleged victims’ lawyer can ask.
The legal loss for Cosby comes as several of his alleged victims of sexual assault testified before the California state legislature on Tuesday advocating a bill to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes in the Golden State. Although there is no statute of limitations in cases of murder or embezzlement of public funds, cases of rape cannot be prosecuted in California once 10 years has passed from when an alleged assault has occurred.
Such limitations are why dozens of the more than 50 women nationally who say Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them have been forced to make their cases in the civil courts with defamation and similar suits. A state Senate committee in Sacramento heard in detail today from actress Lili Bernard, former Playboy model Victoria Valentino, and a women who went by the name of “Kacey” about how they were assaulted by Cosby in 1992, 1969 and 1996, respectively.
After the trio spoke, the Senate Public Safety committee voted to move Sen. Connie Leyva’s (D-Chino) Justice for Victims Act forward. SB 813 is not retroactive and will only apply to sex crimes committed after January 1, 2017 if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. That’s a long way off as the bill now goes to the powerful state Senate Appropriations Committee.
Currently, the only criminal charges laid against Cosby are in Pennsylvania, where a trio of felony second-degree aggravated indecent assault charges arising out of a 2004 incident were made right at the end of 2015 under the wire of the Keystone State’s 12-year statute of limitations.
With Cosby facing up to 10 years behind bars, the Pennsylvania case of the assault of Andrea Constand is under a stay while the state’s Superior Court hears appeals on lower court proceedings in the matter. Cosby was arraigned December 30 and released on $1 million bail without entering a plea. As well as fighting those charges, Cosby also has gone after Constand, her mother, her lawyers and the owners of the National Enquirer in federal court to get the money back that had been paid out from a 2006 civil case settlement.
“We are very gratified by the court’s decision today,” said Cosby’s lawyers in a statement today about Camille Cosby having to give a second deposition. “While not agreeing to terminate the deposition, the court granted Mrs. Cosby’s request to limit the types of questions she could be asked going forward, prohibiting plaintiffs from asking improper questions, questions seeking her opinion, and questions involving marital communications. We are also pleased the court rightly denied plaintiffs motion to compel as well as their motion to disqualify counsel on both procedural and substantive grounds.”