Bill Cosby deposition in sexual abuse lawsuit expected Friday

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 09, 2015 2:39 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bill Cosby was expected to testify under oath on Friday in a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing the veteran comedian of sexual abuse, according to attorneys, but little was known about when or where the deposition would take place.

Attorney Gloria Allred, representing accuser Judy Huth, told Reuters on Thursday the deposition could last up to seven hours. She said she had not yet decided whether to make any statement afterward.

Allred earlier indicated the deposition could take place in Massachusetts, where Cosby lives. Cosby's representatives declined comment, saying the deposition's location could not be disclosed under a court order.

In the past year, more than 50 women have come forward with allegations against Cosby including drugging, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

The deposition marks the first time Cosby has been directed to testify under oath in response to sexual misconduct complaints since a deposition he gave in a Pennsylvania case he settled out of court nine years ago.

Depositions generally occur away from courthouses, with no need for a presiding judge, said spokeswoman Mary Hearn of the Los Angeles Superior Court, where the case is being heard.

"If arrangements have been made for him to appear at a courthouse today, we have no knowledge of it," she said.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan said on Thursday he would seal Cosby's deposition at least until December, at which point he will decide which parts could be made public after reviewing the transcript, according to Allred.

Most of the allegations of sexual abuse against Cosby date back decades and therefore fall outside the statute of limitations for legal action.

According to Allred, however, Huth's case cites repressed psychological injuries that she claims were only discovered in the last three years, which would allow legal action under the statute of limitations.

The support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said members planned to hand out informational pamphlets outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles on Friday to push for legal justice in sexual abuse cases.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Chris Michaud and Sandra Maler)