Bill Cosby’s latest sex assault civil trial kicked off on Wednesday, June 1, following a Los Angeles woman’s 2014 lawsuit claiming the comedian molested her when she was a teenager in the 1970s.
Judy Huth, 64, sued Cosby alleging that the former actor brought her to the Playboy Mansion and forced her to perform a sex act around 1975, when she was 16.
She is seeking unspecified damages for sexual battery and emotional distress.
In her lawsuit, Huth said she and a friend met Cosby at a film set at a park. She said Cosby invited the girls to meet him the following week, when he made Huth drink beer and molested her on a bed at the Los Angeles mansion.
The former actor will not attend the Santa Monica trial. Cosby’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said, ‘We are confident that the evidence will discredit Plaintiff´s 50-year-old allegation.’
Another lawyer for Cosby confirmed he would not be present on Wednesday. His representatives say glaucoma has left him blind and made travel too difficult.
Gloria Allred, who represents Huth and has also handled several Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, said her client will not comment on the case.
Cosby, 84, 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.’
His reputation was damaged after more than 50 women accused him of multiple sexual assaults over nearly five decades.
The trial is one of the last cases Cosby faces after a Pennsylvania appeals court threw out his criminal sexual assault conviction and freed him from prison 11 months ago. Several other lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct were settled by his insurer against his will.
Cosby will not testify after the judge ruled that he could assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. And he has no plans to leave his Pennsylvania home to attend the trial.
Huth says she suffered ‘psychological damage and mental anguish’ as a result of the alleged assault. She is one of the dozens of women who have said they suffered sexual assault at Cosby’s hands.
Huth claims she met Cosby on the set for the movie ‘Let’s Do It Again’ in San Marino, California, and days later was invited to his tennis club, along with her friend Donna Samuelson.
There, she says, he gave her alcohol and took her and her friend to the Playboy Mansion, where he forced her to perform a sex act.
The original complaint in the case accuses Cosby of ‘putting his hand down [Huth’s] pants, and then taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without consent.’
According to court documents, Huth alleges that Cosby told her and her friend to say that they were 19 if asked by staff at the mansion.
Cosby has denied her version of events. His defense team jumped upon the fact that Huth’s original version of events said that the assault occurred in 1974. Later, Huth said it occurred in 1975.
The judge in the case allowed Cosby’s legal team to depose Huth and Samuelson for a second time on May 23.
Andrew Wyatt, a spokesman for Cosby, has accused Huth of ‘inconsistent statements since the inception of filing this civil suit against Mr. Cosby.’
The state of California passed a new law in 2020 that extended the statute of limitations in civil court for victims of sexual assault.
This lawsuit is one of the last remaining open suits against Cosby. The star of ‘The Cosby Show’ has settled many of the claims against him.
Victoria Valentino, who claims that Cosby raped her in 1969, said of Huth’s lawsuit: ‘I think that Judy’s trial may be our last stand for justice and seeing accountability come to fruition in our stand against Bill Cosby,’ The New York Times reported.
Cosby team will establish Cosby’s whereabouts in 1974, around the time when Huth said that she met Cosby, and not 1975.
Huth and her friend do not appear in the Playboy Mansion’s logs in 1974, according to The New York Times.
While the judge in the lawsuit has ordered Playboy to produce lists of employees from that time period in order to see if any could back up either side’s contentions. The New York Post reports that Playboy has complied with the judge’s orders.
The comedian’s team says that Cosby doesn’t deny having met Huth, there is photo evidence showing the two together. They maintain that Cosby didn’t know that she was underage.
The trial is expected to last around two weeks.